Keyes and Norton among Irish Book Awards winners

Keyes and Norton among Irish Book Awards winners

Marian Keyes, Graham Norton, Mike McCormack, Paul O’ Connell and Tana French are some of winners of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2016 held in Dublin’s Double Tree Hilton yesterday evening (16th November).

Writer and poet John Montague, 87, was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, and author of the Rutshire Chronicles, Jilly Cooper, was the recipient of the Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award, a special prize made to international authors who have "contributed substantially to the health and wealth of the Irish book-trade".

The awards were voted on by 45,000 readers and the ceremony for the awards, now in its 11th year, was presented by Keelin Shanley and attended by a full house of stars, including writers Sebastian Barry, Maggie O’ Farrell, Donal Ryan, Marita Conlon McKenna, Roddy Doyle, Cecelia Ahern, Michael Harding, John Bowman. 

Keyes won the Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year for Making It Up As I Go Along (Michael Joseph), a collection of observational essays on modern life and love, on topics ranging from how to break up with your hairdresser to tweeting and holidays. 

Further in non-fiction, I Read The News Today, Oh Boy by Paul Howard (Picador) won the National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year, Irish rugby star O’Connell's autobiography The Battle (Penguin Ireland) picked up the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year, and The World of The Happy Pear by Stephen and David Flynn (Penguin Ireland) won the Avonmore Cookbook of the Year.

Norton won the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book prize for his darkly funny debut novel Holding (Hodder & Stoughton), while French won the Books Are My Bag Crime Fiction Book of the Year for her sixth instalment in the Dublin Murder Squad series, The Trespasser (Hachette Ireland), about a strong-willed female detective.

Recent winner of the Goldsmiths Prize, McCormack's Solar Bones (Tramp Press), a novel written in a single novel-length sentence, won the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year. 

E M Reapy's Red Dirt (Head of Zeus), a tale of three Irish drifters in Australia, won The Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year, The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland, edited by Sinéad Gleeson (New Island Books) won the Best Irish Published Book of the Year, and thriller Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland) took RTE Radio One’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listener’s Choice Award.

In Children's, Pigín of Howth by Kathleen Watkins, illustrated by Margaret Anne Suggs (Gill Books) won the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior) and Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (Puffin) won the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior). 

The Short Story of the Year Award was given to Orla McAlinden for The Visit (Sowilo Press). The Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year went to Jane Clarke for her poem "In Glasnevin" featured in The Irish Times.

Larry MacHale, Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Chairperson, said: “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of this year’s winning authors.  The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards was founded to celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books - readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise and celebrate the very best Irish writing talent.”

Dave Kirwan, managing director at Bord Gáis Energy, added: "The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Books Awards is a fantastic celebration of writing and is widely regarded as the highlight of the Irish literary calendar. There was an extremely high standard in this year’s shortlist and I'd like to congratulate the winning authors and wish them every success in the future. I also look forward to the reveal of overall ‘Book of the Year’ next month and encourage the public to get behind their favourite authors in what will be a tough competition."

The public is now invited to vote for the winner of the ultimate title, the Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year, at www.bgeirishbookawards.ie. Voting is open until midnight on 9th December and participants will be entered into a draw for €100 in National Book Tokens.