Kate O’Brien Award; Niamh Mulvey book deal; Eason Must Reads and book offer
A preview of Saturday’s books pages
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is this week’s Irish Times Eason offer. With every copy of The Irish Times bought in any branch on Saturday, you can buy a copy of the bestseller for only €4.99, a saving of €5. Read our review and an interview with the author.
Saturday’s reviews include Kevin Power on The Disconnect by Roisin Kiberd; Doug Battersby on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun; Diarmaid Ferriter on Women and the Irish Revolution 1917-23: Feminism, Violence, Nationalism, edited by Linda Connolly; Soma Ghosh on Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding; Declan O’Driscoll on the best new fiction in translation; Lucy Sweeney Byrne on The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende; Sarah Gilmartin on Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan; and Sara Keating on the best new children’s fiction.
As You Were by Elaine Feeney is this year’s Kate O’Brien Award winner, which comes with a €2,000 cash prize sponsored by Bill and Denise Whelan. Also shortlisted were The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue; Oona by Alice Lyons; A Quiet Tide by Marianne Lee; Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen; and This Happy by Niamh Campbell.
Eason has announced this year’s first Eason Must Reads selection chosen by author Sinead Moriarty and broadcaster Rick O’Shea. They are: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro; The Sunken Road by Ciarán McMenamin; We are not in the World by Conor O’Callaghan; Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson; Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan; The Push by Ashley Audrain; The Smash Up by Ali Benjamin; and The Godmothers by Monica McInerny.
Picador has landed a story collection and debut novel from Niamh Mulvey, writer of publishing newsletter In the Read and a former Quercus commissioning editor, where she worked with Louise O’Neill, among others.
The collection, Hearts and Bones: Love Songs For Late Youth, will be published in summer 2022, with The Amendments following in 2023.
Hearts and Bones moves between Ireland, London and the South of France. Editorial director Sophie Jonathan said: “These 11 stories are about love in all its forms: friendships strain, families break apart, love fades, love warps and love endures. With tenderness and humour, Hearts and Bones explores the question of who we are now that we’ve brought the old gods down.
“Niamh is an enormously talented writer – I was impressed by the varied voices of her stories, by the wit and thoughtfulness of her prose. There are stories in the collection that have stopped me and my colleagues in our tracks, and stories that raise a smile each time I think of them. And I couldn’t be more excited about The Amendments. Niamh writes with such emotional power it takes my breath away, and yet there is a sharp wit here too. I know The Amendments will be an astonishing novel, and I can’t wait to usher Niamh’s work into the world.”
Mulvey said: “I wrote these stories to get through lockdown, drawing from memories real and imagined, while feeling very far away from many of the people I love. I still can’t quite believe that they have landed with Picador and I am beyond thrilled to be working with the brilliant Sophie and her team.”