Irish Literary News – January Edition!

In the run up to Reading Ireland Month 2023 (more about that next week!) I’m starting a new monthly post where I round up all the news from the thriving Irish literary scene.

  • Last week, Irish booksellers Eason announced that their Book of 2022 was Three Castles Burning by Donal Fallon. The Eason Favourite Book of the Year was voted by over 5,000 Eason customers throughout the month of December. Three Castles Burning is a companion book to the popular Dublin history podcast of the same name by Dublin-based lecturer and historian, Donal Fallon. The book is a hugely enjoyable wander through some of Dublin’s less obvious, but more interesting streets and roads, highlighting the hidden reminders of the lesser-known heroes and events that have contributed to the evolving story of our capital city.
  • Ireland is getting a new publisher as Bonnier Books have announced a new imprint, Eriu. Exciting for Irish authors, as it offers a new outlet for literary fiction, along with children’s fiction and non-fiction. Eriu will publish their first literary fiction title The Polite Act of Drowning, by Charleen Hurtubise, later in the spring, described by Donal Ryan as ‘lyrical and sensuous.’
  • The Irish Times recently profiled Twelve Debut writers all publishing their first book this year. Keep an eye our for these guys, they will be big names in the future.
  • I was ridiculously excited to hear that June 2023 will bring a new novel from Skippy Dies author Paul Murray. The Bee Sting, his first novel in eight years – eight years! – focuses on the disintegrating Barnes family – financially strapped parents Dickie and Imelda, and their two tearaway kids – who struggle to keep things together while the world around them takes on an increasingly apocalyptic hue. Genuinely my most anticipated read of the year!
  • Back in November Northern Irish poet Nick Laird deservedly won the award for Best Single Poem at the Forward Prizes. Written about the death of his father during Covid, Up Late is an astonishing and emotional piece of work which was first published by Granta in July 2021. You can read it here and it is well worth your time.
  • Irish/ Australian writer Lauren Foley has made the shortlist for The Barbellion Prize, a book prize dedicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing. Her collection Polluted Sex depicts women’s bodies and sexuality, offering an unflinching window into Irish girl and womanhood.
  • Sara Baume’s most recent novel Seven Steeples has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, one of the largest literary prizes for young writers. Along with poet Ciaran O’Rourke, she is in line for the prize which has previously been won by Patricia Lockwood, Max Porter and Belfast’s own Lucy Caldwell. Obviously I’ll be rooting for the Irish contingent, but they are going to have to beat my book of the year – Limberlost by Robbie Arnott.
  • This year’s shortlist for the 8th annual Kate O’Brien Award has also been announced. This is an Award for the best novel or short story collection by an Irish female writer and this year’s shortlist is a strong one, featuring Ruth and Pen by Emilie Pine, The Quiet Whispers Never Stop by Olivia Fitzsimons and How To Gut A Fish by Sheila Armstrong.
  • As Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin dominates this year’s Oscar nominations, it’s hardly surprising that Faber & Faber have published the screenplay!
  • And speaking of Oscar news, it would be remiss not to mention the success of of An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) – the first Irish language film to be nominated for an Oscar. It was quite a showing for Irish talent, with 14 nominations in total, but I was delighted to see this beautiful film, based on Claire Keegan’s stunning novella Foster, receiving the acclaim it deserves. Keep your fingers crossed and the Guinness on tap for March 13th!

Irish Literature

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Claire Keegan is just EVERYTHING. I simply adored Foster. I don’t generally watch television/movies (particularly if it’s a book-to-screen adaptation) because I can’t handle the boredom & disappointment… but that trailer for An Cailín Ciúin looked pretty amazing.


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