book awards

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.

Literary Award Longlist is out!

The International IMPAC Dublin Award Longlist came out this Monday, read on to find out what I think about the Longlist and some of my picks.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't read many deep and serious fiction books.  I am the despair of my mother and professorial sister.  I don't normally peruse award longlists, not any of the calibre of the IMPAC Dublin Award.  Let's be honest here, the Romance Writers of America Awards or some of the Fantasy or SF awards aren't treated as seriously as many of the more literary awards.  And the IMPAC Dublin Award is pretty serious. 

Dublin Literary Award Winner Colum McCann Reading and Q&A

Colum McCannTo mark the occasion of Colum McCann winning the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with his book Let the Great World Spin, Pearse Street library played host to a reading by Colum McCann and a question and answer session between Niall MacMonagle and the author.

(Photo: Jason Clark Photography)

In this fascinating session Colum talks about his personal experience of 911, and how he chose to confront it obliquely in his writing, rather than head on as Roth and DeLillo chose to do. He discusses the process of developing and managing the many characters, voices and narrative strands of Let the Great World Spin.  The conversation then turns to the issues of identity and place and a familiar motif in Irish writing, the writer leaving home to live and write abroad.

Book Awards

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Winner 2011 Colum McCann

Colum McCann, award winner

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann is the winner of the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The novel was chosen from a shortlist of 10, and a longlist of 162 books by 166 libraries  - representing 126 cities in 43 countries.

'New York, August 1974: a man is walking in the sky. Between the newly built Twin Towers, the man twirls through the air. Far below, the lives of complete strangers spin towards each other: Corrigan, a radical Irish monk working in the Bronx; Claire, a delicate Upper East Side housewife reeling from the death of her son; Lara, a drug-addled young artist; Gloria, solid and proud despite decades of hardship; Tillie, a hooker who used to dream of a better life; and Jazzlyn, her beautiful daughter raised on promises that reach beyond the skyline of New York. In the shadow of one reckless and beautiful act, these disparate lives will collide, and be transformed for ever.'

Colum McCann, born in Dublin, Ireland, is the author of five novels and two collections of stories. He has won numerous international literary awards. Zoli, Dancer and This Side of Brightness (published in the UK by Bloomsbury in July 2010) were international bestsellers and his fiction has been published in over thirty languages. He lives in New York

Dublin IMPAC Shortlist Announced

Shortlisted books10 novels have been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award from a total of 162 novels nominated by 166 public library systems in 126 cities worldwide. This shortlist includes novels by three Irish authors; Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, Brooklyn by Colm Toibín and Love and Summer by William Trevor. The International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award is worth 100,000 euro and is the world's most prestigious literary award, books are nominated by public libraries world-wide. Pictured are the shortlisted books.

2011 Shortlist International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Logo of International IMPAC Dublin Literary AwardOn the 12 April the Shortlist of the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award will be announced. This will be chosen from the longlist of 162 titles which is uniquely based on nominations from libraries around the world. Most of these novels are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries and can be found on our catalogue.

2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Shortlist and Winner

The TwinThe 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award judging panel chose 8 titles to be shortlisted for the 2010 Award. These were selected from a (very) longlist of 156 novels, nominated by libraries all over the world. 

The shortlisted titles were