Solar Bones named Irish Book of the Year 2016

Solar Bones named Irish Book of the Year 2016

One-sentence novel Solar Bones (Tramp Press) by Mike McCormack has been named the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year 2016.

The experimental novel, written in a single 223-page sentence, was held up as "a hymn to modern small-town life", after being selected through the public vote. Last month it also won the Goldsmiths Prize and was awarded the title of Eason Book Club Novel of the Year in November.

Published by Dublin-based Tramp Press in May 2016, the book's plot explores the idea of an annual return of the dead on All Souls’ Day through one such visit: Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took him away and then brought him home again.

McCormack said he was “‘delighted with this wholly unexpected honour”. Previous winners of the award include Asking for it by Louise O’Neill (riverrun), Academy St by Mary Costello (Canongate), Staring at Lakes by Michael Harding (Hachette), The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland), and Solace by Belinda McKeon (Picador).

Marian Keyes, Graham Norton, Mike McCormack, Paul O’ Connell and Tana French were among the full list of winners of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2016 announced in November. Writer and poet John Montague, 87, was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, and author of the Rutshire Chronicles, Jilly Cooper, received the Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award for having "contributed substantially to the health and wealth of the Irish book-trade".