Mary Costello, Donal Ryan and Deirdre Sullivan shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015

Prize aims to put the spotlight on the wealth and diversity of contemporary European literary fiction

Mary Costello: shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015

Mary Costello: shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015

 

Mary Costello’s Academy Street, Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart and Deirdre Sullivan’s Primperfect have been shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015, a prize for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction.

Ireland is one of 12 countries who will provide a national winner of the EU Prize for Literature in 2015. Its aim is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of contemporary European literary fiction, to promote literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.

The €5,000 prize is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the EU whose objective is to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue.

The 12 winners will be announced on April 14th at the London Book Fair.

Conor Kostick, president of the Irish jury, said: “We were all extremely impressed by the high quality of entries and also struck by the tone of the novels and short story collections published by Irish writers in the last few years, which overall was a dark one. Whether set in contemporary Ireland or in some much earlier, historical period, many of the entries – including those by Donal Ryan and Mary Costello – have a bitter anger surging through them. It feels as though it took the collapse of the Celtic Tiger to galvanise Irish writers to depict characters and dramas with much greater contrast between light and shadow than they did in the boom years.

“We are also very pleased that a young-adult novel has made the shortlist. Ireland has a notable tradition of successful literary works for young adults and in Deirdre Sullivan’s work we see an emerging voice of tremendous vivacity.”

The Irish jury consists of :

Conor Kostick, former chairperson of the Irish Writers’ Union, board member of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency and author of 14 books of fiction and history, including the award-winning Epic;

Fergal Tobin, who was publishing director of Ireland’s largest publishing house for more than 20 years and was president of the Federation of European Publishers from 2010 to 2012;

Nessa O’Mahony, who has published four volumes of poetry, including a verse novel.

Stephen Boylan, books category manager for Eason’s, the largest suppliers of books in Ireland. He also reviews books for RTÉ.

Louise Phillips, bestselling author of the psychological crime thrillers, Red Ribbons, The Doll’s House and Last Kiss. All three novels were nominated for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. The Doll’s House won the award in 2013.

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