Academic Emilie Pine’s “vivid and powerful” Notes to Self (Hamish Hamilton) has won the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2018 following a public vote.
Published by Tramp Press in Ireland, Notes to Self is written as a series of essays with Pine covering various aspects of her life including fertility, feminism, sexual violence and depression. She also writes about her personal experience of a family member’s addiction in the collection, dubbed “vivid and powerful” by the award organisers.
The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians to decide category winners which are then put to the public vote.
Pine beat the likes of authors Sally Rooney and Liz Nugent to the overall prize from the list of 16 winning categories, as revealed in November, and had initially scooped the Newcomer of the Year section. The academic was one of the many writers to have won the An Post Irish Book category for the first time.
Pine revealed she was “delighted and honoured” by the win. “I have been so moved by the generosity and support of readers over the past six months,” she said. “This award is the kind of validation a writer dreams of - of my story, and also of the vision of my incredible publishers.”
Maria Dickenson, chairperson of the prize, commented: “Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self was one of the great stories in Irish bookselling in 2018 and I’m delighted that the voting public has chosen it as the An Post Book of the Year. The power and honesty of Emilie’s essays have captivated readers, and it’s truly gratifying to see her talent rewarded.”
David McRedmond, c.e.o. of An Post, said of the book that whilst “a challenging read, [it] is deeply human and Irish, emotional and clever.”