Caitriona Lally awarded $100,000 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction

A sneak preview of Saturday’s books pages

Author Caitriona Lally has been awarded the 2019 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, worth $100,000. Previous Irish recipients of Lannan awards include Sara Baume and Kevin Barry.

"It's a massive boost to win the award, not just to the bank balance but to the confidence," Lally said. "When I told my family the sum of money they were a bit dubious, thinking it was some kind of scam to get me to part with my bank details. 
"After dragging it out for years, I finally finished the second novel just before my second child was born this year. It's out there now hoping for a deal (the book, not the baby). I go back to work after maternity leave in the new year and have no plans to quit the day job just yet."

Lally was shortlisted for the 2016 Kate O’Brien Debut Novel Award and won the 2018 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her debut novel, Eggshells. The latter prize, awarded in association with Trinity College Dublin, won her international media attention because she worked at the university as a cleaner, highlighting that many writers are part of the precariat.

Curated by Sinéad Gleeson and Gary Sheehan, Imagining Ireland: Speaking Up, Singing Louder at the National Concert Hall on February 9th, 2020 features a stellar cast of some of Ireland’s leading female writers, singers and performers. Taking part are Soak, Lisa O’Neill, Radie Peat, Sorcha Richardson, Eimear McBride, Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen, Sinéad Gleeson, Denise Chaila, Wendy Erskine and Sara Baume.

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Evelyn Conlon is to be the Ireland Funds Monaco writer-in-residence at the Princess Grace Library next March.

Tramp Press is to publish Line, the debut novel by Niall Bourke in spring 2021 after buying the rights from from Brian Langan of Storyline Literary Agency. Bourke’s short stories have been shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award, the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award and the Over the Edge New Writer Award. He is a graduate of the Goldsmiths creative writing/teaching MA.

Tramp co-publisher Sarah Davis-Goff said: “We’ve established a strong track record of publishing novels and particularly debuts very well, and while our list has included more non-fiction recently, we’re so delighted to have found a daring new work of fiction. Niall has a unique voice, and Line is high-concept, philosophical, dystopian, and very smart. It’s the most exciting novel we’ve read in some time.”

In Saturday’s books pages, 25 leading Irish writers and critics, including Anne Enright, Emilie Pine, Colm Tóibín and Joseph O’Connor, reveal their books of the year; Kathy O’Shaughnessy, author of In Love with George Eliot, explores the writer’s complicated private life; and we publish November’s New Irish Writing winning story and poem.

Reviews include Frank McNally on Joe Schmidt’s autobiography; Declan O’Driscoll on Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet; Diarmaid Ferriter on Ireland: A Voice Among the Nations By John Gibney, Michael Kennedy and Kate O’Malley; Anna Carey on Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson; Michael Cronin on A History of Ireland in 100 Words by Sharon Arbuthnot, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Gregory Toner; Paul Clements on the best new local history; Declan Hughes on the best new thrillers; Sarah Gilmartin on The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim.