Echoland launched as Dublin’s One City One Book 2017

Kerry Group Novel of the Year shortlist; Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award shortlist; Poetry Ireland quiz

Joe Joyce: The city is an integral part of the book, not just the backdrop to a spy story. Photograph: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography

Echoland, the first novel in Joe Joyce's spy series set during the second World War in Dublin, was launched this week as Dublin's One City One Book 2017. Readers will experience life in Dublin during the Emergency aka the second World War. Next month's festival offers an opportunity for readers to engage with the book, and the city, through music, readings, walks and interviews. All events are free.

Joyce said: “I’m delighted and honoured that Echoland will be Dublin’s One City One Book for 2017. The city is an integral part of the book, not just the backdrop to a spy story. As I was writing it, I was very conscious of the hardships and great dangers of the Emergency period, faced – as always by Dubliners – with resilience and wit.”

Eunan O’Halpin, Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin, will talk about Spies in 1940s Ireland at Dublin Castle’s Chapel Royal on April 10th at 6.30pm. Author and journalist Mary Kenny will appear at the Mansion House to discuss her book Germany Calling: A Personal Biography Of William Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw on April 12th at 6.30pm Authors Sinéad Crowley, Andrew Hughes and Joe Joyce will talk about the challenges of writing fiction set in different time periods in a panel discussion entitled Writing Crime Fiction in Dublin City Library & Archive on April 25th at 6.30pm.

Three debut novels have been shortlisted for the €15,000 Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award 2017, which was announced today, along with the widely-acclaimed Solar Bones by Mike McCormack and The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. Perhaps the most notable novel to be overlooked is The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride.


This year’s shortlist is: Inch Levels by Neil Hegarty; My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal; The Wonder by Emma Donoghue; Solar Bones by Mike McCormack; and Nothing on Earth by Conor O’Callaghan. Solar Bones has already won the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize and the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year 2016. The Wonder was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. My Name is Leon was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.

The winner will be announced at the opening ceremony of Listowel Writers’ Week on May 31st and will be presented with the prize. The award is for the best novel by an Irish author published between February 1st, 2016 and February 1st, 2017 and is the largest monetary prize awarded for fiction and available solely for Irish writers. Listowel Writers’ Week takes place from May 31st to June 4th and will be opened by author Richard Ford. This year’s festival will feature Colm Tóibín, Margaret Drabble, Alan Cumming, Akhil Sharma, MJ Hyland, Graham Norton, David Szalay, Granta Editor Sigrid Rausing, Helen Lederer, Paul Howard, Lisa McInerney and Fergal Keane.

Irish author Sally Rooney, whose debut novel Conversations with Friends will be published by Faber in June, has made the shortlist for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Also shortlisted are Kathleen Alcott, Bret Anthony Johnston; Richard Lambert; Victor Lodato; and Celeste Ng. Previous winners of the world's richest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story include Yiyun Li, Junot Diaz, Anthony Doerr and Kevin Barry. Fiona Shaw and Simon Callow will read the stories at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London on April 26th. The winner will be announced on April 27th. The five runners-up will each receive £1,000. Three other Irish writers were longlisted: Lisa McInerney, Christine Dwyer Hickey and Ethel Rohan.

The Poetry Ireland Table Quiz 2017, with question masters John Banville and Marian Richardson, takes place on Monday April 3rd, at 8pm, in Café en Seine, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tickets are €50 for a table of four. Expect the usual puzzled looks, team squabbles and fab prizes! Funds raised will help support emerging poets through the Poetry Ireland Introductions series.