Northern women dominate Irish €5,000 EU Prize for Literature shortlist

A sneak preview of tomorrow’s books pages

Books by four Irish women writers, three of them from and about the North, have been shortlisted by the Irish jury for the EU Prize for Literature.

Her Kind by Niamh Boyce and Jan Carson’s The Fire Starters, both published only yesterday; Catholic Boy by Rosemary Jenkinson; and The Watch House by Bernie McGill make up the shortlist. The winner of the €5,000 prize, chosen by Sorcha De Brún, Ronan Colgan, Conor Kostick, Sinéad Mac Aodha and Nessa O’Mahony, will be revealed on May 22nd.

Milkman by 2018 Man Booker Prize Winner Anna Burns has been shortlisted for the £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize. The winner will be announced on May 20th. Three other novels, a novella, one collection of poetry and two works of non-fiction from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and North America are in contention for the prize, which rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form.

Also shortlisted are Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young; The Crossway by Guy Stagg; Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly; Ordinary People by Diana Evans; The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus; There There by Tommy Orange; and West by Carys Davies.


Coming up in tomorrow’s books pages, we have an essay by Sinéad Gleeson based on a chapter from her debut, Constellations; M for Mammy author Eleanor O’Reilly on her inspirational storytelling relatives; the aforementioned Jan Carson talks to Anna Carey about Northern identity; and the winning entry in Ireland’s first Graphic Short Story Prize, run by the Comics Lab in partnership with The Irish Times.

Reviews include Anna Carey on Her Kind by Niamh Boyce; John Boyne on Damien Barr’s You Will Be Safe Here; Martina Evans on Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson; Helen Cullen on Joanne Harris’s The Strawberry Thief; Kathleen MacMahon on Things in Jars by Jess Kidd; Paschal Donohoe on How not to Lose Your Country by Ece Temelkuran; Tony Clayton-Lea on Paul Morley ’s The Awfully Big Adventure: Michael Jackson in the Afterlife; Declan Burke on The Man who was Saturday by Patrick Bishop; Niamh Donnelly on How to Fail by Elizabeth Day; Sarah Gilmartin on The Fire Starters by Jan Carson; and Rob Doyle on The Dispossessed by Ursula le Guin.

As if all that weren’t enough, Eason is also offering €7 off the cover price of Donal Ryan’s excellent From a Low and Quiet Sea if (when!) you buy a copy of The Irish Times there tomorrow.