Leonard and Hungry Paul (Bluemoose Books) by Ronan Hession as been chosen as Dublin's Book of the Year for 2021.
Organised by One Dublin One Book, the annual intiative aims to encourage everyone in Dublin to read a designated book, connected with the city during April. It is run via a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Libraries. Leonard and Hungry Paul will be promoted throughout the cityscape via banners, flags and pennants and in all the libraries in Ireland, in addition to featuring on RTE Radio and TV, with events in April. Dublin is Unesco City of Literature for 2021.
Mairead Owens, Dublin city librarian, said: “On behalf of Dublin City Council Libraries, I am delighted to have the opportunity of promoting this wonderful book by Rónán Hession. It reminds us all that life is precious and that there are many challenges facing us as we negotiate daily life. The book is uplifting and positive and gives comfort at this time. The book is a treasure and will hopefully encourage many more readers to seek refuge and sustenance from reading.”
Hession added: "I am deeply honoured and sincerely grateful that Leonard and Hungry Paul has been chosen as this year's One Dublin One Book by Dublin City Council. As someone who has lived and worked all my life in the city, this means an awful lot to me."
Previous authors chosen include James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Edna O’Brien.
Bluemoose publisher Kevin Duffy said: "Everyone at Bluemoose knew the first time we read Ronan’s debut that we had found something special and the response from the reading public and libraries around the world has been fantastic but to have a city like Dublin, world renowned for producing some of the finest writers in literature to choose one of our books is absolutely brilliant and we’re so chuffed for Ronan too. As a Dubliner what finer accolade could the city bestow on one of their own but to choose his book. Wonderful."
The title has had shortlistings for six other prizes, including Kerry Irish Book of The Year, British Book of The Year, and the Society of Authors McKitterick Prize.