Irish writer Belinda McKeon was awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize yesterday (18th July) for her first novel Solace (Picador).
The annual £1,000 prize, which is given in alternate years for works of fiction and works of poetry, has previously been won by Seamus Heaney, Julian Barnes and Will Self.
McKeon’s novel, about the conflict between old rural Ireland and contemporary Dublin, was praised by the panel of judges for its “crisp yet distinctive prose”.
The judges, which included Rachel Cusk, Jonathan Ruppin and Leo Robson, said the book proved “there are new ways of being a traditionalist”.
In 2011 the book also won the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year prize at the Irish Book Awards.