The Shortlist for the Irish Book Awards was announced yesterday evening and there are some great books and authors on this year’s lists.
The An Post Irish Book Awards are a set of industry-recognition awards set up by a coalition of Irish booksellers in 2007.
The awards are dedicated to the celebration of the best Irish writers and writing across all genres of publishing. The promotion around the shortlists and winners hopes to inspire readers and expand its audience nationally and internationally and to ensuring the continued prominence of the awards and the authors within Irish culture.
The An Post Irish Book Awards brings together the entire literary community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise and celebrate the very best of Irish literary talent across fifteen categories, including Novel of the Year, Popular Fiction, Non-fiction, Crime, Children’s, Sports, Short Stories and Cookery.
Here are a few of the categories that I am particularly interested in:
Eason Novel of the Year:
This is a really strong shortlist this year and out of these I have yet to read Seven Steeples by Sara Baume or The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.
I would love to see Louise Kennedy’s wonderful Trespasses win, however I think The Marriage Portrait will be a hard one to beat.
Popular Fiction Novel of the Year:
I have to be honest and say that I haven’t read any of these as yet, but there are a few really big hitters in here.
At a push, I would say this will go to Graham Norton or Marian Keyes.
Irish Independent Crime Fiction Novel of the Year:
This is another category where I haven’t read any of the shortlisted books, but I have read and enjoyed Catherine Ryan Howard before and think she has a good chance of taking this one. Edel Coffey could be in the running too, there has been a lot of buzz for Breaking Point this year.
Newcomer of the Year:
Newcomer of the Year is always a very strong category in the Irish Book Awards and this year is no exception. It’s a hard one to call but my money is on The Amusements by Aingeala Flannery.
Author of the Year:
It’s a shortlist with Sally Rooney on it – can she be beaten?! It’s testament to the writing talent coming out of Ireland at the moment to see this really strong list and then think about who hasn’t been included on it. You could probably put another twenty authors on this list and still not find a dud.
Short Story of the Year:
The Short Story Award is always one of my favourites and this year I will be cheering on Wendy Erskine for her masterful story ‘Mathematics’ from her wonderful collection Dance Move.
You can read all the nominated short stories online here.
What’s most fantastic about the Irish Book Awards is that from here on in, the voting is down to the reading public. Voting is now open online, with the winners announced on 23 November and televised on 7December. An Post Irish Book of the Year will be shown on RTE One and will feature interviews with some of the winning authors and the announcement of the overall An Post Book of the Year.
Have you read any of the shortlisted books?
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!