Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession (Bluemoose Books) is the One Dublin One Book choice for 2021.
Leonard and Hungry Paul has been celebrated by readers for its optimism and tenderness, especially at a time when hope can feel at a remove. A book about friendship, it tells the story of two quiet people, navigating life together through humour and board games, appreciating the wonder in the mundane, and the beauty of small things.
One Dublin One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Libraries, which encourages people to read a book chosen because of a connection to the capital city.
Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, says “On behalf of Dublin City Council Libraries, I am delighted to have the opportunity of promoting this wonderful book by Rónán Hession. It reminds us all that life is precious and that there are many challenges facing us as we negotiate daily life. The book is uplifting and positive and gives comfort at this time. The book is a treasure and will hopefully encourage many more readers to seek refuge and sustenance from reading.”
Leonard and Hungry Paul is Rónán Hession’s first novel, which was nominated for prizes such as Irish Novel of the Year, and the British Book Award for Best Debut. His second book, Panenka, will be published this May.
“I am sincerely grateful and proud that Leonard and Hungry Paul has been chosen as this year’s One Dublin One Book. I would like to thank Dublin City Council for this great honour. I was born in Dublin and have lived and worked here all my life, so this means a lot to me. And of course, I have spent countless happy hours firing my imagination with the books I have borrowed from the wonderful libraries we have throughout Dublin. Leonard and Hungry Paul is a gentle book about two friends learning to engage with the world without becoming overwhelmed by it. I hope my fellow Dubliners find it a source of peace and enjoyment in the year ahead,” says Rónán Hession.
A new One Dublin One Book edition of the novel will be available to borrow from all public libraries nationwide, electronically via BorrowBox, and to buy from all good book shops. There will be online events in April to accompany the reading initiative.
Details at www.onedublinonebook.ie