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An Post Book Awards announced


Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You wins Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

The shortlist included Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These and Kevin Power’s White City.

The awards, which were held virtually on the RTÉ website last night, saw 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard win the top prize for crime fiction, beating the likes of John Banville’s April in Spain and Jane Casey’s The Killing Kind.

Keith Earls and Tommy Conlon won Sports Book of the Year for Fight Or Flight: My Life, My Choices, coming out on top ahead of strong contenders like Dark Blue by Dublin footballer Shane Carthy and The Nation Holds Its Breath by commentator George Hamilton.

The competition for Newcomer of the Year was particularly fierce, with Snowflake by Louise Nealon earning the prize. The shorlistees included Fiona Scarlett, Una Mannion, and Jamie O’Connell.

Fintan O’Toole’s We Don’t Know Ourselves earned Non-Fiction Book of the Year in a category that included popular Virgin Media News correspondent Richard Chambers and RTÉ’s Brian O’Donovan. Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Séamus O’Reilly won Biography of the Year, ahead of Remembering by Sinéad O’Connor and Openhearted by Anne Ingle.

Maureen Gaffney’s Your One Wild and Precious Life is the Audience Choice Award winner, while Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen is the Popular Fiction Book of the Year. 

Décor Galore by Laura De Barra is the Lifestyle Book of the Year, while The Coastal Atlas of Ireland by Val Cummins, Robert Devoy, Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett and Sarah Kandrot is the Best Irish Published Book of the Year.

A Hug for You by David King and illustrated by Rhiannon Archard is the Children’s Book of the Year (Junior). David is the father of Adam, the incredible little boy who stole our hearts on last year’s Toy Show. The Summer I Robbed a Bank by David O’Doherty and illustrated by Chris Judge is the Children’s Book of the Year (Senior).

Sinead Moriarty’s first teen novel, The New Girl, won Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year, while Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain’s Madame Lazare took the number one spot as Irish Language Book of the Year.

Kennys Bookshop and Art Gallery in Galway won Bookshop of the Year.

The popular Marian Keyes won Author of the Year in a tough category that included Maggie O’Farrell, Liz Nugent and Donal Ryan.

Deirdre Sullivan won Short Story of the Year for Little Lives and Siobhan Campbell won Irish Poem of the Year for Longboat at Portaberry.

Sebastian Barry is the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, joining other distinguished winners such as Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, Edna O’Brien and John McGahern.

Marvellous writers

John Treacy, chairperson of the Awards said, “We really are so lucky to have such marvellous writers in this country. We have so many promising young writers, more women writers than ever, writers representing minority and marginalised Irish communities, and this will only grow in the years to come.”

This year, over 187,500 votes were cast by the public to select the winners in each category, up 33% on 2020. Audience votes are weighed equally with those of the Voting Academy, which is comprised of around 200 booksellers, librarians, reviewers, journalists and cultural commentators. 

Readers can now vote for their overall An Post Irish Book of the Year at http://www.anpostirishbookawards.ie/vote.

The winner will be announced as part of a one-hour special on RTÉ One on Wednesday 8th December exploring the six nominated books. All voters have a chance to win €100 worth of National Book Tokens.