Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2019
Mark O’Connell was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2019 for his debut book To Be a Machine. This is the first time the €10,000 award has been made for a work of nonfiction. The prize is awarded for a body of work by an emerging Irish writer that shows exceptional promise.
The author joins other winners such as Colin Barrett, Sara Baume, Anne Enright and Frank McGuinness. To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death, was published by Granta in 2017. O’Connell, a books columnist for Slate and a staff writer at The Millions, won the prestigious £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize last year, which celebrates books that illuminate how health and medicine touch our lives. His next book, Notes from an Apocalypse: a personal journey to the end of the world and back, will be published by Granta next April. The Rooney Prize was established by Dan Rooney, the former US ambassador to Ireland and President Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who died two years ago. The Prize is administered by the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing at the School of English at Trinity College Dublin.