Donal Ryan’s From A Low and Quiet Sea, this week’s Eason offer, up for RSL Ondaatje Prize
A sneak preview of Saturday’s books pages
Congratulations are in order this week for Donal Ryan, whose From a Low and Quiet Sea has been longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. The £10,000 prize is awarded annually to a distinguished work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry, which best evokes the spirit of a place. The shortlist will be announced on April 16th. From a Low and Quiet Sea’s longlisting coincides happily with its new paperback edition is published. As it happens, it is also this weekend’s Eason offer, €7 off if you buy The Irish Times. Seize the day!
Norma McMaster, whose debut novel Silence Under a Stone (Doubleday) has been shortisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2019, quite an achievement for a writer in her 80s. The judges callled it “a fascinating novel about the consequences of living with religious bigotry. It’s emotive, beautifully descriptive, full of humanity and a compelling read.”
Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 65th year, making it the longest-running UK prize for debut fiction and – except for the James Tait Black and the Hawthornden – the oldest literary prize in Britain. Previous Irish winners of the £2,500 prize include Brian Moore and Kevin Barry.
Coming up in Saturday’s Irish Times, Patrick Freyne interviews Sinéad Gleeson about her debut, Constellations; Ian Maleney writes about his debut essay collection Minor Monuments, Tramp Press’s follow-up to 2018’s Irish Book of the Year, Notes to Self by Emilie Pine. And fellow Tramp author Sarah Henstra discuss the issue of consent on casmpus, a theme of her acclaimed new novel, The Red Word. As well as march’s New Irish Writing winners, we have a host of compelling reviews: Des Traynor on Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney; Helen Cullen on Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe; Seán Hewitt on Why We Dream by Alice Robb; Rob Doyle on Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle and Quartet by Jean Rhys; Anna Carey on Lynn Enright’s Vagina: A Reeducation; Sean Sheehan on Only Human by Martin Parr; Sarah Gilmartin on The Confessions of Frannie Langton; Stephen Phillips on An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago; and Sara Keating on the best new children’s books.