Emma Donoghue wins 2016 Ireland Fund Literary Award

The Room author donated the $20,000 prize to the UN Refugee Agency.
Emma Donoghue is the author of the novel The Wonder. (Punch Photographic )

Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue has won the AWB Vincent American Ireland Fund's award for excellence in literary achievement.

The bestselling author of Room, Frog Music and Landing accepted the $25,000 prize at the Ireland Funds' 40th anniversary conference in Dublin, Ireland on June 23. She later donated all of it to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

This isn't the first time Donoghue has donated her literary prize winnings to charity. Earlier this year, she gifted $20,000 from her Golden Box Office Award to ImagiNATIVE, a Canadian Indigenous media and arts festival.

The Ireland Funds are philanthropic organizations that connect Irish people living abroad and support arts, culture, education and community development in Ireland. Their Canadian chapter is headquartered in Toronto.

Donoghue has received numerous accolades for her writing, including the 2009 Lambda Literary award for Lesbian Fiction for The Sealed Letter, and the 2010 Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year for Room. She wrote the film adaptation of Room, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay this year. Meanwhile Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Ma.

Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1969. She now lives in London, Ont., and is set to release her latest book, The Wonder, in the fall. Set in rural 1850s Ireland, the novel will tell the story of Anna, an 11-year-old girl who refuses to eat but mysteriously remains alive, and Lib, a nurse who must determine whether she is a fraud.

Donoghue is also working on the screenplay for a film adaptation of Frog Music for Monumental Pictures.


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