Overcoming by Vicky Phelan and Naomi Linehan is Irish Book of the Year 2019

The autobiography was chosen by a public vote from An Post Irish Book Awards winners

Overcoming by Vicky Phelan and Naomi Linehan has been voted the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019.

It was chosen by a public vote from the list of category winners announced at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.

“I’m truly honoured that my book Overcoming has been voted An Post Book of the Year,” said Phelan. “I could not have done this without my wonderful ghostwriter, Naomi Linehan, who brought life to my story on the page in a way that I did not think was possible. To my publisher, Hachette, thank you for taking a chance on me and to all the booksellers, thank you for championing my book. Finally, a huge thank you to the public, for whom I wrote this book, who supported and voted for me.”

Published by Hachette Books Ireland, Overcoming tells the story of one of the biggest medical and political scandals of our times – Phelan and 220 other women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer were not informed with the crucial information that a clinical audit had revised their earlier, negative smear tests in which their cancers could possibly have been preventable.


Since then, Phelan has become a voice for justice on the issue due to her system-changing activism. Overcoming has been called an inspiring story of rare resilience and power, tracing the author’s journey rom a life-threatening accident in early adulthood through to motherhood, a battle with depression, her devastating later discovery that her cancer had returned in shocking circumstances and the enduring detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action.

Previous winners include Notes to Self by Emilie Pine, Atlas of the Irish Revolution by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr John Borgonovo, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, Academy Street by Mary Costello, Staring at Lakes by Michael Harding, The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan and Solace by Belinda McKeon.