Edna O’Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer, was born on this day in County Clare in 1930. Born to strictly religious parents, O’Brien described her childhood as suffocating. She was educated from 1941 to 1946 by the Sisters of Mercy. She then went on to receive a license in pharmacy in 1950. O’Brien turned to writing and published “The County Girls” in 1960. It was the first in a trilogy that was banned from Ireland. In 2009, she received the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Book Awards in Dublin.