book awards

2014 CWA Award Winners

CWA logoThe winners in the various categories of the 2014 CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Dagger Awards have (nearly) all been revealed following the recent announcement of the winners in the final categories. Most of the category winners were announced in July, with the Gold, Steel and John Creasey Awards revealed in late October. The winner of the Dagger in the Library Award is. I understand, to be announced in November.
And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, the winners in two categories do share the same title!

I can now reveal (nearly) all of the category winners (each title links to the book's library catalogue entry):

Man Booker Winner is... The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthAustralian Richard Flanagan was last night announced as the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. His was selected from the six shortlisted titles, the other authors of which came from Britain (3), and the US (2). He becomes only the third-ever Australian to win this coveted prize in its 46-year history, previous Australian winners being Thomas Kenneally and Peter Carey, who won it twice.

The storyline follows an Australian surgeon in a Japanese POW camp in 1943. "In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever." (book description)

Whilst otherwise considering the longlist when announced as "uninspiring", Irish Times columnist Eileen Battersby described the book as "one of the finest novels published in English this year", and picked it as the title that "could and should emerge as winner".

2014 Man Booker Shortlist is Announced

Man Booker PrizeThe six shortlisted titles for this year's Man Booker Prize include three by British authors, two by US authors and one by an Australian. So no Irish representative this year, sorry to say, despite the presence of two on the longlist of thirteen ('History of the Rain' by Niall Williams, and 'The Dog' by Joseph O'Neill). You might recall that last year 'The Testament of Mary' by Colm Tóibín was shortlisted.

Young Skins by Colin Barrett Scoops Major Short Story Award

Young SkinsThe Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award has been won by Irish author Colin Barrett, for his debut collection 'Young Skins'.

The Mayo-born writer held off a strong challenge from four Americans and a Scot to win the Award. He becomes only the second Irish-born writer to win the Award, following in the footsteps of Edna O’Brien, who won in 2011 with 'Saints and Sinners'. Previous winners have also included Haruki Murakami, Ron Rash and Yiyun Li, who won the inaugural Award in 2005 with 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers'.

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez wins International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The Sound of Things FallingThe Sound of Things Falling by Colombian author, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Canadian Anne McLean, is the winner of the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.

Right: Bloomsbury paperback edition, 2012

The Award is organised by the Public Library service of Dublin City Council. The €100,000 prize is the world's largest prize for a single novel published in English. Uniquely, the IMPAC DUBLIN receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators.

A Good Day to be an Irish Author!

John BanvilleEimear McBrideWednesday, 4th June, proved a good day for Irish fiction writing, as two authors were recipients of Awards on the international literary stage. First up was the announcement that John Banville had been conferred with Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In so doing, he picks up a cash prize of €50,000. This award was established in 1981 by the soon to be King of Spain, Prince Felipe. The jury gave the award to John Banville (left, image source) "for his intelligent, insightful and original work as a novelist, and on his alter ego, Benjamin Black, author of disturbing, critical crime novels" (quote).

Next came the news that Eimear McBride had won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel 'A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing'. The Award brings with it a cash prize of £30,000. Helen Fraser, chair of judges, says of McBride’s startling debut: "An amazing and ambitious first novel that impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy. This is an extraordinary new voice – this novel will move and astonish the reader." In so doing, she beat off some stiff competition from the likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Donna Tartt, and fellow Irish shortlisted nominee Audrey Magee.

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: Have you picked your winner?

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner will be announced next Thursday, 12 June. Have you had the chance to read many of the books on the shortlist? And if so, have you picked your winner yet? Kay Sheehy has been reviewing the shortlist on RTÉ Radio 1's Arena and you can listen back on Arena's Books podcasts.

Books shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The Children's Book of the Year is... Hagwitch!

HagwitchCongratulations to Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick for picking up the Children's Book of the Year award with her novel HagwitchEight titles were shortlisted for the 24th CBI Book of the Year Awards, the shortlist having been announced on Tuesday, 18th March last.

Book Summary: Two lives, four centuries apart, but a dark secret ties them together. It's summer, and the world of the theatre barge is coming to life. It's Lally's world and the only one she's ever known. But when her father pulls an ancient piece of wood from the canal and fashions it into a puppet, strange things begin to happen. Soon Lally starts to wonder whether there is something sinister about the wooden doll - could she be connected to the mysterious hagwitch?

Shortlist announced for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014

Novels by Irish author Donal Ryan and David Park from Northern Ireland have been shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, which was announced today, 9 April. The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan has been described as the definitive novel of the downturn. Ryan perfectly inhabits each of a range of characters, capturing their voices and in doing so, expertly delineates life in small town rural Ireland.  In Light of Amsterdam David Park takes three pairs of characters to Amsterdam, where he gradually weaves their stories toward moments of epiphany. It is another great read from the author of The Truth Commissioner, which was longlisted for the award in 2010.

Also on the list is previous winner Gerbrand Bakker. Bakker won the award in 2010 for his beautifully understated yet moving novel, The Twin, which was also translated from Dutch by David Colmer.

Books shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Two Irish Authors on Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist

Baileys Women's Prize for FictionTwo Irish authors, Eimear McBride and Audrey Magee have been shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for their debut novels, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and The Undertaking.

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride is a highly original novel that navigates complicated family relationships and memories using stream of consciousness. It was recently shortlisted for the inaugural Folio Prize and won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize 2013, a literary award for fiction that "opens up new possibilities for the novel form". Audrey Magee's The Undertaking, a powerful first novel set in Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, is an intense portrayal of ordinary people pushed to do extraordinary things, setting in motion events that will have horrific consequences.

Also on the shortlist is Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche who won the award in 2007 for Half of a Yellow Sun.

Here's the full shortlist (with links to library catalogue):