Shortlist for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Announced

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ShortlistBook award announcements are coming thick and fast right now, what with the recent announcements of the Desmond Elliott Prize longlist, the Carnegie and Greenaway shortlists and the YA Book Prize shortlist. And, lest we forget, the International Dublin Literary Award shortlist will be announced next Tuesday!

So no surprise if we update you on yet another book award, this time the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, the shortlist of which has just been revealed, the winner to be declared during Listowel Writers' Week (1-5 June 2016). The shortlist reads like a Who's Who of modern Irish writers - Banville, Barry, Enright, O'Brien, I don't envy the judges picking one of these above the others. And lets not be unfair to the fifth name on the list, that of debutant Austin Duffy, who may lay some claim to fame of his own as winner of  RTÉ’s Francis MacManus award for his short story, Orca. His is the only first novel on the shortlist, which is as follows:-

The Blue Guitar . Beatlebone . The Living and Immortal Dead . The Green Road . The Little Red Chairs

The winner will be presented with a cheque for €15,000 at the opening night of Listowel Writers’ Week on Wednesday 1st June. This year's winner will be selected by Rachel Cusk and Gerbrand Bakker.

The Award is now in its 21st year, and last year's winning book was 'Blue is the Night' by Eoin McNamee. Other previous winners include Eimear McBride (A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, 2014),  Sebastian Barry ( A Long Long Way, 2006),  William Trevor (The Story of Lucy Gault, 2003) and  John McGahern (That They May Face the Rising Sun, 2002). Not to be out done, two of this year's shortlisted authors have been previous winners, namely Enright (The Gathering, 2008) and Banville, who has won on two occasion (The Untouchable in 1998, The Infinities in 2010).

If you have read any or all, maybe you would let us know your thoughts on the shortlist and what you've read? Comment below please.

May the best book win!

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