Posted 06 December 2011
UCD honorary degrees for Joseph O’Connor, Andrea Camilleri, Mary Gordon, and Olivia O’Leary
Irish novelist, Joseph O’Connor; Italian novelist, Andrea Camilleri; Irish-American novelist, Mary Gordon; and journalist and broadcaster, Olivia O’Leary have been awarded honorary degrees from University College Dublin.
Joseph O’Connor was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin.
"Some of the happiest years of my life were spent as a student in UCD. For that reason, it's a delight as well as an immense and humbling privilege to receive this Honorary Doctorate,” said Joseph O’Connor on receiving the honour.
“I made the best of lifelong friends there, and had the finest teaching imaginable, as the world of literature was opened up to me with extraordinary gentleness and generosity. It was also where my first attempts at fiction were made, the beginnings of a story, the opening lines of my life as a writer. So I am deeply grateful and honoured by this homecoming."
Irish Novelist, DrJoseph O'Connorwho was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCD
According to Professor Tony Roche, UCD School of English, Drama and Film, who read the citation at the ceremony, ‘Joseph O’Connor is the laureate of the Irish Diaspora’.
“The whole of his most acclaimed novel, Star of the Sea, takes place on the boat of that book’s title as it makes its way from Cobh to New York at the height of the Irish Famine.”
“Star of the Sea was the first in a loosely bound trilogy including Redemption Falls, and Ghost Light, published in the past decade, all three of which have placed their writer at the forefront of contemporary Irish and indeed world writing in English.”
“Among contemporary Irish novelists I can think of none whose next novel is more eagerly awaited,” he added.
Andrea Camilleri was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin.
“We honour Andrea Camilleri above all for the achievements of his ‘second life’ which began at the age of 58 – after ten years of fruitless searching for a publisher,” said Dr Eric Haywood, UCD School of Languages and Literature, who read the citation at the ceremony.
Pictured at the honorary conferring (l-r) novelists Dr Joseph O'Connor, Dr Mary Gordon and Dr Andrea Camilleri
“Camilleri is a consummate storyteller: his plots, his characters, his sense of place, his dialogues are second to none. Above all he writes with great humour: humour as commonly understood and humour in the Pirandellian sense.”
“Camilerri sees the world in its underwear, and he represents not just the body, but the body and its shadow,” he said.
Italian novelist, Andrea Camilleri is best known for his eighteen Inspector Montalbano detective novels which have been translated into multiple languages and sold several million copies worldwide.
Mary Gordon was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin.
“Mary Gordon is among America’s most admired prose writers. Her work constitutes a very important contribution to Irish-American literature, exploring as it does with impeccable integrity, Irish American family life,” said James Ryan, UCD School of English, Drama and Film, who read the citation at the ceremony.
Irish-American novelist, Dr Mary Gordon who was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCD
“The focus is often on everyday transactions, subtly amplified to present universal, sometimes uncomfortable truths.”
“I have long since marvelled at both the scale and depth of Mary Gordon’s fiction, long since admired her masterly command of her craft, but above all I have, like so many others, enjoyed her unique, exquisite prose.”
Mary Gordon’s works include: Final Payments, The Company of Women, Men and Angels, The Other Side, and The Love of My Youth.
Olivia O’Leary was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin.
“Olivia O’Leary is one of the country’s most respected journalists and most loved commentators,” said Professor David Farrell, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, who read the citation at the award ceremony.
Journalist and broadcaster, DrOlivia O'Leary who was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCD
“It is her observations of people that are a defining characteristic. She is a true craftswoman with words, producing vivid images and wonderful turns of phrase, as was revealed to the wider world to such great effect during her speech at the National Convention Centre to honour the Queen’s visit.”
“In her own journalistic work, in how she so generously helps others, in her renowned reputation for supporting younger colleagues, Olivia has personified these higher ethical standards at a time when our country so desperately needs them,” he added.
(Produced by UCD University Relations)