book awards

The Testament of Jessie Lamb Wins Science Fiction Award

The Testament of Jessie LambBritish novelist Jane Rogers has won the UK's top science fiction prize, the Arthur C Clarke Award, for her novel 'The Testament of Jessie Lamb'. Rogers has been a prize winner before, but this is her first venture into science fiction. The book was also on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize last year.

'The Testament of Jessie Lamb' is the story of a 16-year old girl who wants to save humanity after an act of biological terrorism releases a deadly virus which only affects pregnant women. It would seem that the book is  somewhat of a surprise but popular winner.

Enright on Orange Prize Shortlist

The Forgotten WaltzYesterday saw the shortlist announcement for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK's annual book award for fiction written by a woman. In its 17th year, the Prize 'celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing throughout the world' (quote).

Included on the shortlist is 'The Forgotten Waltz', the story of an adulterous affair and the fifth novel by Irish writer Anne Enright. Enright, who has been nominated three times for the Orange award, won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her novel 'The Gathering'.

Other books on the shortlist include 'Half Blood Blues' by Canadian writer Esi Edugyan, 'Painter of Silence' by Britain's Georgina Harding, and three works by American authors - 'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller, 'Foreign Bodies' by Cynthia Ozick and 'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett.

Can YOU predict the winner?


THE 2012 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlist was announced today. The judging panel have dutifully selected interesting and diversely themed novels.

Out of the ten shortlisted titles briefly outlined here, can YOU predict the winner? 

Let us know who you think will win by posting a comment on this blog post.

Literary Award Shortlist Announced!


Award Shortlist10 novels have been shortlisted for the 2012 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. The list includes two novels in translation and two first-time novels, but no Irish author is represented.

Some of the shortlisted novels have already received awards e.g. 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011 and 'The Memory of Love' received the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Right: Click thumbnail to view larger image.

The short listed titles, announced by The Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr. Andrew Montague, Patron of the Award, are:

Eoin Colfer shortlisted for LA Times Literary Award

PluggedEoin Colfer shortlisted for LA Times Literary Award!! Why the exclamation marks you may ask? Well, Eoin, so well known as the author of the famous and best selling (and borrowed!) Artemis Fowl fantasy series of books for younger readers has been nominated in the adult mystery/thriller category!

Eoin's comedy crime caper 'Plugged', his first adult crime novel, was first published in May 2011 to positive reviews. It is the story of an Irish ex-army man Dan working as a bouncer in a seedy club in New Jersey, half in love with hostess Connie. When Connie is murdered on the premises, a vengeful Dan finds himself embroiled in an increasingly deadly sequence of events in which his doctor friend Zeb goes mysteriously missing and a cop-killing female cop becomes his only ally.

Andrew Miller's 'Pure' wins Costa Overall Prize!

Pure by Andrew MillerAndrew Miller, who won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1999 with his first novel, Ingenious Pain, was yesterday announced as the overall winner of the Costa Award for his sixth novel, 'Pure'. 'Pure' is set in late 18th-century Paris and follows the story of a young engineer, Jean-Baptiste Baratte, charged with demolishing Paris's oldest cemetery and removing the corpses.

Right: Winning title, Pure, by Andrew Miller (click to view larger image)

Apparently it was a "bitterly fought two-way tussle" between 'Pure' and 'Now All Roads Lead to France', by Matthew Hollis, and generated a fierce debate between the judges!

Costa Award Winners!

Costa Book Awards logoAndrew Miller, who won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award in 1999, was yesterday announced as the winner of the Costa (fiction) Award for his sixth novel, 'Pure', beating off the challenge of Booker prize winner 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes in the process.

A Winning Night at Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards

     Irish Book Awards  Ireland's 'glitterati' came out in force last night at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards Ceremony in the Concert Hall of the RDS. In a night when Seamus Heaney received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by fellow poet Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, it would be easier to say who wasn't there, than who was - even former US President Bill Clinton appeared in a pre-recorded tribute to 'one of the world's favourite poets'.

The Irish Book Award winners are voted on by the public and the various categories were hotly contested. All winning and shortlisted books are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries. Winners on the night were;

Window on a winner

The Real RebeccaI am on record as being not very caught up with the entire book awards industry.  However this week I couldn't but be caught up with Anna Carey's experience of the Irish Book Award.  The Real Rebecca is a book I've watched happen over twitter with a woman I don't think I've ever met but I care about. 

It's funny, I have no idea why I followed Anna (or Urchinette as she is known on Twitter), possibly because she's a fellow Irish Knitter, possibly because a friend recommended her, but I do.  I watched over the last year or so as she wrote the book, launched it in the Gutter Bookshop (and watched the Gutter Bookshop on Twitter talk about their preparations for the launch) and watched both of them worry about people not turning up (thankfully people did).  I waited with bated breath for it to turn up in the libraries and snapped up an early copy to read it and enjoyed the story of a girl trying to prove who she is in the face of a mother who wrote about a character not completely unlike her.

Barry shortlisted for Costa Award!

Kevin BarryCongrats to Irish novelist Kevin Barry on being shortlisted for the 2011 Costa First Novel Award for his novel City of Bohane. Three other authors are shortlisted in this category of the annual Costa Book Award.

Judges: "Startlingly original – a tour de force of language and imagination."

City of Bohane'City of Bohane' is a visionary novel that blends influences from film and the graphic novel, from Trojan beats and calypso rhythms, from Celtic myth and legend, from fado and the sagas, and from all the great inheritance of Irish literature" (catalogue summary).

Kevin Barry was born in Limerick in 1969 and now divides his time between Sligo and Dublin. He won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2007 for his short story collection There are Little Kingdoms

Kevin was one of a number of authors involved in a series of talks and readings presented by Dublin City Public Libraries and Ireland Literature Exchange in the Central Library in May 2011.You can listen on our blog to Kevin reading from City of Bohane, and taking questions afterwards.