Irish novelist Edna O'Brien has been awarded the $50,000 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature for her "powerful voice" and the "absolute perfection of her prose".
The award is given annually to a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents the "highest level of achievement" in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or drama, and is of "enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship".
O'Brien was awarded the accolade by judges Michael Ondaatje and Diana Abu-Jaber for her "powerful voice" and the "absolute perfection" of her prose, as well as her body of work including The Country Girls Trilogy, The Light of Evening, Byron in Love, and The Little Red Chairs (all published by Faber).
O'Brien was also praised for helping to break down social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond with her work.
The award was given by the PEN American Centre.