My black velvet dress (embossed with silver armadillos, for those interested in such details) was in the dry cleaners. That’s how sure I was that the An Post Irish Book Awards gala ceremony would take place this year. But let’s not let this disappointment hurt all of the brilliant winners you can see receiving their laurels virtually at anpostirishbookawards.ie.
Dublin’s annual art book The fair opened on Thursday and will run through December 5 at the Temple Bar Art Gallery. Organized by cultural historian Dr Lisa Godson, this year’s theme is “Manual” and promises launches, readings, workshops and lectures, including one by renowned writer and filmmaker Naomi Klein. More details on templebargallery.com.
Lisa Coen and Sarah Davis-Goff have reopened Tramp press for submissions after an interruption, and seek extraordinary fiction and narrative non-fiction; study the guidelines before submitting the work, which they will read in a month. Their last offer of 2021 landed on my desk. An alluring collection of lost works of Irish fantasy, it rose was edited by writer and translator Jack Fennell and includes Forgotten Gems by Katharine Tynan, Dora Sigerson Shorter and others. One for the bottom.
Speaking of which, Christmy coverage starts here today with a children’s tour. If you need more inspiration, Childrens Books Ireland has just launched Offer the joy of reading, which is full of reviews in English and Irish, for readers aged 0-18. This great publication is free in bookstores and can also be downloaded from children’s booksireland.ie.
Stay tuned for the next few weeks as an array of critics, artists and writers share their favorite titles of the year. We’ll top it off with our Great Arts Quiz, which, as always, will come with a mind-blowing prize.
Until then, here is the list of the winners of the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021
Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award: Sébastien Barry
Novel of the year: Beautiful people, where are you – Sally Rooney
Newcomer of the year “Sunday Independent”: Snowflake – Louise Néalon
Irish Independent Mystery Book of the Year: 56 days – Catherine Ryan Howard
Video of the day
Eason Sport Book of the Year in association with Ireland AM: Fight or flee: my life, my choices – Keith Earls, with Tommy Conlon
Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year: We Don’t Know Each Other: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958 – Fintan O’Toole
Dubray Biography of the Year: Have you heard that mom is dead? – Séamas O’Reilly
Irish Cookbook of the Year: Everyday cook – Donal Skehan
National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year: Aisling and the city – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year: Decor galore – Laura De Barra
TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year: Ireland’s coastal atlas – Val Cummins, Robert Devoy Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett, Sarah Kandrot
Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior): A hug for you – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard
Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior): The summer I robbed a bank – David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge
Book of the year for teens and young adults: The new girl – Sinead Moriarty
RTÉ Audience Choice Award: Your only wild and precious life – Maureen Gaffney
Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year: Marian Keyes
Writing.ie Short story of the year: Little lives – Deirdre Sullivan
Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year: Longboat in Portaferry – Siobhan Campbell
Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year: Madame Lazare – Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin
An Post Bookstore of the Year: Kennys Bookstore and Art Gallery, Galway
Readers are invited to vote for their ‘Irish Post Book of the Year’ at anpostirishbookawards.ie/botyvote
The winner will be announced on a one-hour special on RTÉ One television on December 8, exploring the six nominated books.
All voters also have a chance to win € 100 in national book tokens.