Irish fiction

2013 Irish Book Award Winners Announced

John BanvilleThe BORD GÁIS Energy Irish Book Award winners were announced last night.

Authors Roddy Doyle, Darina Allen, Paul Howard and Michael Harding were among the winners in the various categories.

Children’s writers Benji Bennett and Derek Landy, newcomer Niamh Boyce, crime writer Louise Philips, sports writer David Walsh, short story writer Billy O’ Callaghan and Fintan O’Toole were also honoured at the gala ceremony held in Dublin.

Esteemed novelist John Banville (left, image source) was presented with the 'Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award 2013' by actress Sinéad Cusack for his contribution to Irish literature, and a tribute to the late Seamus Heaney was screened during the ceremony which featured accolades from former US President Bill Clinton and Edna O’ Brien.

The Irish Crime Fiction Festival: A Virtual Who's Who of Irish Crime Authors

//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TrinityHof.JPGA festival devoted to Irish crime fiction, featuring some seventeen or so of the most exciting Irish and Irish-American crime novelists, takes place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November in Trinity College, Dublin. The festival concludes with the highlight event, best-selling American author Michael Connelly being interviewed by Irish crime writer John Connolly. The event marks the occasion of the Irish launch of his newest novel, 'The Gods of Guilt'. I for one have my ticket booked and I hope to get to attend most of the sessions during the festival.

Irish crime authors appearing are (with links to library catalogue entries):

Conor Brady. Probably best known as the former editor of The Irish Times and also a former member of the Garda Síochána (Police) Ombudsman Commission. Author of, amongst other works, two crime novels - 'A June of Ordinary Murders' and the just released 'The Eloquence of the Dead' (October 2013, not yet in stock).

Irish Crime Fiction in a Healthy State

Broken HarbourI've been meaning for so long to do a post or three on Irish crime fiction, and the weight of guilt for not so doing before now has finally proved enough of a catalyst to get me across that line, thankfully.

But where to start?  In light of the fact that the shortlist for the Irish Book Awards (IBA) "Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award" is to be announced on the 31st October, I thought I would start with a mention of what books published over the past year might find themselves in the running. I have to say in that regard that Declan Burke's 'Crime Always Pays' blog has been an invaluable jump-off point and is well worth a visit if you want to keep informed about the Irish crime fiction scene. Last year's IBA winner by the way ('Broken Harbour' by Tana French) was selected from a shortlist of six, and I will revisit last year's winner and shortlist on another occasion (and soon!).
(Update: 'Irregulars' by McCarthy added, 30 Oct.)

Irish Debut Novelists as Award Contenders

A Girl is a Half-Formed ThingWith the news just out that the debut novel of Irish author Eimear McBride has been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, I got thinking about how much of an impact Irish authors have been making of late, most particularly first-time novelists. Eimear's book, 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing', had in fact been rejected by publishers for a good number of years until Galley Beggar Press took a chance on it, a book other publishers thought too experimental. And of course, appropriately enough, the new literary award that is the Goldsmiths Prize is awarded to fiction that "breaks the mould and opens up new possibilities for the novel form" (site quote).

CILIP Carnegie Greenaway 2013 Winners Announced Today

Maggot MoonThe CILIP Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenway Medal winners for 2013 have just been announced. The Carnegie Medal was won by Dyslexic author Sally Gardner with 'Maggot Moon' (published by Hot Key Books). In this tale, when his best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, Standish Treadwell realises that it is up to him, his grandfather and a small band of rebels to confront and defeat the ever-present oppressive forces of The Motherland.

The shortlist also included award-winning Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'A Greyhound of a Girl'. Read about the shortlist on previous blog post.

The Kate Greenway Medal was won by illustrator Levi Pinfold for only his second picture book, 'Black Dog' (published by Templar Publishing).

Michael Carroll Interviewed

The Last StarshipFor my "interview a genre author in Ireland" series I got Michael Carroll to answer my questions.

I've read a fair few of Michael's books over the years, most recently the Pelicos Trilogy, starting with the Last Starship and I've been enjoying it, however my husband has been loving it.  Michael has two websites, one concentrating on his Quantum Prophecy series and the other a more general website.  He's also written some Adult fiction as Jaye Carroll (I've read at least one, The Sweetest Feeling).

Christmas Holidays - time to curl up with a book...

I love the long, warm, bright summer evenings - but the long, chilly, dark winter evenings have their charms too, as long as I have something good to read. The girls in my house have stored up some special reads for those lazy days between Christmas and New Year. We've had to banish the chosen books from sight so we're not tempted to start reading immediately - there lies grave danger of no present buying, pudding making, tree trimming or other essential ingredients of Christmas.

James Joyce's Dubliners advertised

Announcement of publication of Dubliners by James JoyceThis advertising sheet from the publishers Maunsel and Company, Abbey Street, Dublin, announces the imminent publication of James Joyce’s collection of short stories Dubliners. The collection was due for publication on 24 November 1910 at a cost of 3s.6d. It was due out in good company with illustrated books by Lady Gregory, Ella Young and Seosamh MacCathmhaoil, James Connolly’s Labour in Irish history, and Tom Kettle’s The day’s burden.

Celine Kiernan Interviewed

As I said in the interview with Peadar Ó Guilín I came across a few authors over the two days of Octocon and asked them to be interviewed.  This is the second one, Celine Kiernan, an author whose books I have very much enjoyed over the years.

Celine was born and raised in Dublin and worked for a while in the Sullivan Bluth studio and I love meeting her at Octocon, she is a passionate speaker when she's on panels and I enjoyed the ones I managed to get with her on them.

The Links in the book names or author names will bring you to Dublin City Public Library's Catalogue

Brilliant Mid-term Reads from Book Festival Authors

Children's Book Festival PosterDark days, and even darker nights - autumn is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. You might already have a toppling pile of books beside the bed, or sitting on a bookshelf just waiting for you to pick them up and bring the story to life by opening that first page. But if you are finished everything interesting in your 'to read' pile and are looking for a good book to keep you company over this mid-term break, perhaps you will find inspiration in the work of some of the authors who have been visiting Dublin City Libraries during October for Children's Book Festival. Some, like Judi Curtin are very well-known and don't need any introduction from me, while others, like Michael Carroll, who writes science fiction / fantasy novels, are less well-known, but equally engaging writers.

If you were lucky enough to be at Cabra Library or Drumcondra Library to meet popular author Judi Curtin, you will have heard all about how she started writing and how moving schools often as a child helped her become observant and made sure she always had good stories to tell. Judi's most recent book is 'Leave it to Eva' the third book in the 'Eva' series. There are seven books in Judi's earlier 'Alice and Megan' series, as well as a cookbook, so no need to run out of your favourite reads.

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