An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 shortlists revealed

Patrick Freyne, Dara McAnulty, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Graham Norton, Keelin Shanley and Marian Keyes shortlisted

Catherine Ryan-Howard, Patrick Freyne, Anna Carey, Bernard Brogan, Ray D’Arcy, Ruth Medjber and Conor Ferguson, who have all been shortlisted for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards

Catherine Ryan-Howard, Patrick Freyne, Anna Carey, Bernard Brogan, Ray D’Arcy, Ruth Medjber and Conor Ferguson, who have all been shortlisted for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards

 

Husband and wife Patrick Freyne and Anna Carey have been shortlisted for this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, along with a host of well-known writers including Anne Enright, Graham Norton and awardwinning 16-year-old Dara McAnulty, who received a record three nominations, as did novelist and short story writer Caoilinn Hughes.

Freyne, a journalist with The Irish Times, secured two nominations for his essay collection, OK Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea, as did Doireann Ní Ghríofa and the late Keelin Shanley.

Patrick Freyne and his wife Anna Carey, with each other’s shortlisted books
Patrick Freyne and his wife Anna Carey, with each other’s shortlisted books

Hughes’s second novel, The Wild Laughter, is shortlisted for the Novel of the Year Award alongside debutant Elaine Feeney for As You Were and four of Ireland’s most acclaimed writers: Anne Enright for Actress; Donal Ryan for Strange Flowers; Emma Donoghue for The Pull of the Stars; and Maggie O’Farrell for Hamnet, which has already won the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Poignantly, two of the nominations are posthumous: the late RTÉ journalist Keelin Shanley for her memoir, A Light that Never Goes Out, and Sam McBratney, who died last month, for Will You Be My Friend?, the sequel to his multi-million selling children’s book, Guess How Much I Love You.

Novel of the Year
Actress – Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) Review
The Wild Laughter – Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld) Review
Strange Flowers – Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)Review
As You Were – Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker) Review
The Pull of the Stars – Emma Donoghue (Picador) Review
Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press) Review

Popular Fiction Book of the Year
The Glorious Guinness Girls – Emily Hourican (Hachette Books Ireland)
Home Stretch – Graham Norton (Coronet) Review
The Bird in the Bamboo Cage – Hazel Gaynor (HarperFiction) Essay
Grown Ups – Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph) Review
Braywatch – Ross O’Carroll Kelly (Sandycove) Column
Here Is the Beehive – Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Circus) Review

Non-Fiction Book of the Year
A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)Review
Beyond the Tape – Marie Cassidy (Hachette Books Ireland) Review
Notes from an Apocalypse – Mark O’Connell (Granta Books) Review
Here’s the Story – Mary McAleese (Sandycove) Review
The Arms Crisis of 1970: The Plot that Never Was – Michael Heney (Head of Zeus) Review
Tell Me the Truth About Loss – Niamh Fitzpatrick (Gill Books) Interview

Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller) Review
A Light that Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill) Review
Never Mind the Boll***s, Here’s the Science – Luke O’Neill (Gill) Review
A Guarded Life – Majella Moynihan, with Aoife Kelleher (Hachette Books Ireland) Podcast
How Animals Saved My Life – Noel Fitzpatrick (Trapeze)
Winging it – Tommy Tiernan (Sandycove)

John Treacy, chairperson of the awards, said: “The publishing industry has faced unprecedented challenges this year which makes it all the more critical for us to support Irish books and Irish authors during 2020.”

McAnulty, 16, already this year the youngest ever writer to win the Wainwright Prize for UK nature writing and to be long-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction, is shortlisted for Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; and RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award.

Poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s nonfiction debut, A Ghost in the Throat, about her fascination with Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, composer of Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, has proven an unlikely bestseller. It is up for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and Best Irish Published Book of the Year.

As well as McAnulty and Freyne, the impressively strong Newcomer of the Year shortlist features Michelle Gallen for Big Girl, Small Town; Naoise Dolan for Exciting Times; Niamh Campbell for This Happy; and Rachel Donohue for The Temple House Vanishing.

The crime fiction category looks equally competitive, with eatablished names Catherine Ryan Howard, Jane Casey, Liz Nugent and Steve Cavanagh joined by Lucy Foley and Louise O’Neill.

Debbie Byrne, managing director of An Post Retail, said it was delighted to continue its support, particularly as reading was so important for mental wellbeingby providing comfort and the possibility of escape: “We were very proud to be able to support independent Irish booksellers in maintaining their business during lockdown this year. Reading and its benefits are more important than ever to all ages and there is a wonderful selection of books from great Irish writers throughout the shortlists again this year.”

The public is invited to vote by November 16th for their favourite authors at anpostirishbookawards.ie – the winners will be announced on November 25th and the overall Irish Book of the Year winner will be revealed on December 10th on RTÉ One as part of a highlights show. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five €100 National Book Tokens vouchers. 

Ruth Medjber, Catherine Ryan-Howard, Anna Carey and Emily Hourican, who are all shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020
Ruth Medjber, Catherine Ryan-Howard, Anna Carey and Emily Hourican, who are all shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020

The An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 shortlist

Newcomer of the Year
Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller)
Big Girl, Small Town – Michelle Gallen (John Murray)
Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
This Happy – Niamh Campbell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Sandycove)
The Temple House Vanishing – Rachel Donohue (Corvus)

Best Irish Published Book of the Year
A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)
An Irish Nature Year – Jane Powers, illustrated by Robert Vaughan (William Collins)
Old Ireland in Colour – John Breslin and Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (Merrion Press)
Thirty-Two Words for Field – Manchán Magan (Gill)
A Page from my Life – Ray D’Arcy (HarperCollins Ireland)
Twilight Together – Ruth Medjber (Doubleday Ireland)

Crime Fiction Book of the Year
The Nothing Man – Catherine Ryan Howard (Atlantic Books)
The Cutting Place – Jane Casey (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)
Our Little Cruelties – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
After the Silence – Louise O’Neill (Quercus)
The Guest List – Lucy Foley (HarperFiction)
Fifty Fifty – Steve Cavanagh (Orion)

Cookbook of the Year
Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen – Clodagh McKenna (Kyle Books)
The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone – David and Stephen Flynn (Penguin Ireland)
The Daly Dish – Gina Daly and Karol Daly (Gill)
Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes – Neven Maguire (Gill)
The Joy of Food – Rory O’Connell (Gill)
No Fuss Vegan – Roz Purcell (Penguin Ireland)

Sports Book of the Year
True Colours – Barry Geraghty with Niall Kelly (Gill)
The Hill: My Autobiography – Bernard Brogan with Kieran Shannon (Reach Sport)
The Russian Affair – David Walsh (Simon & Schuster)
Champagne Football – Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan (Sandycove)
No Hiding: My Autobiography – Rob Kearney with David Walsh (Reach Sport)
Fuel – Seán O’Brien with Gerry Thornley (Sandycove)

RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award
Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller) – Championed by Ray D’Arcy
A Light That Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill) – Championed by Miriam O’Callaghan
OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Sandycove) – Championed by Ryan Tubridy
The Wild Laughter – Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld) – Championed by Joe Duffy
Love – Roddy Doyle (Cape) – Championed by Seán Rocks

Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
The Dead Zoo – Peter Donnelly (Gill)
The Great Irish Farm Book – Darragh McCullough, illustrated by Sally Caulwell (Gill)
While We Can’t Hug – Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Faber)
What We’ll Build – Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)
The Haunted Lake – PJ Lynch (Walker)
Will You Be My Friend? – Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram (Walker)

Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)
The Boldness of Betty – Anna Carey (The O’Brien Press)
Miracle on Ebenezer St. – Catherine Doyle (Puffin)
Is There Anybody Out There? – Dara Ó Briain (Scholastic)
Girls Play Too: Inspiring Stories of Irish Sportswomen – Jacqui Hurley, illustrated by Sinead Colleran, Rachel Corcoran, Jennifer Farley, Jennifer Murphy and Lauren O’Neill (Merrion Press)
The Story of Croke Park – Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, illustrated by Graham Corcoran (The O’Brien Press)
Break the Mould – Sinéad Burke, illustrated by Natalie Byrne (Wren & Rook)

Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year
The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth (Andersen Press)
Savage Her Reply – Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Karen Vaughan (Little Island Books)
Queen of Coin and Whispers – Helen Corcoran (The O’Brien Press)
Gone Book – Helena Close (Little Island Books)
On Midnight Beach – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Faber)
Hope Against Hope – Sheena Wilkinson (Little Island Books)

Poem of the Year
Through the Ears of a Fish – Eleanor Hooker (Poetry Magazine, Chicago)
Terminarch – Jo Burns (Listowel Writers’ Week)
In the Museum of Misremembered Things – Linda McKenna (In the Museum of Misremembered Things, Doire Press)
Triskele – Catherine Ann Cullen (The Music of What Happens, New Island)

Short Story of the Year
The Emperor of Russia – Jaki McCarrick (New Short Stories 11, Willesden Herald)
Margaret McNaughton – Kit de Waal (Supporting Cast, Viking)
I Ate It All And I Really Thought I Wouldn’t – Caoilinn Hughes (LitHub)
Supermarket Flowers – Dermot Bolger (Secrets Never Told, New Island Books)
You and Him – Louise Kennedy (Irish Times) Read the story
Wildflowers – Billy O’Callaghan (The Boatman and Other Stories, Jonathan Cape)

Irish Language Book of the Year
Éadaoin – Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)
Bealach na Spáinneach – Liam Mac Cóil (Leabhar Breac)
Cur i gCéill – Celia de Fréine (LeabhairComhar)
Cnámh – Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde (Éabhlóid)
Múscail, a Ghiorria – Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair (Arlen House)
An Diabhal Déanta – Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (Cló Iar Chonnacht)

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