Joseph O’Connor, Vicky Phelan and Andrea Corr were among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, held in Dublin tonight, as Colm Tóibín received the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award.
Acclaimed Irish author and journalist Tóibín received the lifetime award in recognition of the central position he has occupied in the cultural life of Ireland for over three decades, with works including Brooklyn, The Master and The Testament of Mary.
David McRedmond, c.e.o. at An Post, said: “I’m delighted that my good friend, the great writer, Colm Tóibín has been recognised with this lifetime achievement award. An Post and Irish booksellers both share common traits in that we take our business seriously - but not too seriously. More importantly, we share a desire to act for the common good, and a healthy fascination with people and place. These Awards celebrate this so very well.”
O'Connor saw off competition from a shortlist featuring authors including Kevin Barry and Edna O'Brien to win Eason Novel of the Year with Shadowplay (Harvill Secker) while Overcoming by Phelan with Naomi Linehan (Hachette Books) took home the RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award and Corr scooped the Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year for Barefoot Pilgrimage (HarperNonFiction).
The Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year went to Recovering by Richie Sadlier with Dion Fanning, and Gill Books stablemate Cornucopia: The Green Cookbook by Tony Keogh, Aoife Carrigy, the Chefs of Cornucopia, Deirdre and Dairine McCafferty won Avoca Cookbook of the Year.
Cruel Acts by Jane Casey (HarperFiction) triumphed in the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year award as Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson (Picador) took home the Bookselling Ireland Non-Fiction Book of the Year.
TheJournal.ie Best Irish-Published Book of the Year went to Children of the Troubles by Joe Duffy and Freya McClements (Hachette Books Ireland) and Tairngreacht by Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird (LeabhairComhar) won the Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year.
In YA and Children's, Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin (Titan Books) won the Dept51@Eason Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year, Shooting for the Stars - My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut by Norah Patten, illustrated by Jennifer Farley (The O’Brien Press) was named Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior, while the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior went to 123 Ireland! by Aoife Dooley (Little Island Books).
Anne Griffin's When All is Said (Hodder & Stoughton) was named Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year and Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books) won National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year.
The Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year went to Salt Rain by Audrey Molloy (Mslexia, September 2019) and completing the winners, Parrot by Nicole Flattery (The Stinging Fly, Issue 39, Volume 2, Winter 2018-19) scooped the Writing.ie Short Story of the Year Award.
Maria Dickinson, chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, said: “Every year the competition seems to get fiercer, and the bar raised even higher – and this year is no exception, as the quality of the award winners demonstrates. From fiction to non-fiction, poetry to Irish language writing, the winning titles reflect the varied and diverse reading tastes of the Irish public.
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
“Many of our winning authors reflect on contemporary or historical issues within Irish society, while others amuse, inspire and enthral through fantastic story-telling. Both the winning authors and all our shortlisted titles are a terrific testament to the strength and vitality of Irish writing – and long may this continue.”
First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards showcase a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 16 categories, with this year’s awards ceremony taking place in the Convention Centre Dublin. A host of Ireland’s leading writers, publishers, booksellers and media personalities were all in attendance to see the winners claim their awards. This year’s ceremony was hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan and Evelyn O’Rourke, and full highlights of the awards will be broadcast on RTÉ One at 11.15pm on Saturday 23rd November.
This year, over 115,000 votes were cast by the book-loving public to select the winners in each category, and readers everywhere are now being invited to vote for their overall ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ at www.anpostirishbookawards.ie. The winner will be announced in January, and all voters are also in with a chance of winning €100 worth of National Book Tokens.