Home Features Our reviews of some An Post Book Awards shortlistees

Our reviews of some An Post Book Awards shortlistees

There has been an embarrassment of riches in books this year and the shortlists for the An Post Irish Book Awards reflect some of these fantastic titles.

Read our reviews and features about of some of the shortlisted books from throughout the year.

Congratulations to everyone on—and off—the lists for bringing us bright and beautiful things in 2021!

See all the shortlists here

Novel of the Year

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
Panenka by Rónán Hession
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Echo Camber by John Boyne
The Magician by Colm Tóibín
White City by Kevin Power

Energy, exuberance, empathy—Stephen Reid on White City by Kevin Power

Newcomer of the Year

A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion
Boys Don’t Cry by Fíona Scarlett
Dinner Party: A Tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin
Diving for Pearls by Jamie O’Connell
Holding Her Breath by Eimear Ryan
Snowflake by Louise Nealon

Claustrophobic, off-kilter and breathless—Fiona Murphy on Snowflake by Louise Nealon

Diving for Pearls has grit in the oyster—shimmering debut from Jamie O’Connell—review by Catherine Murphy

Dinner Party—a strong debut from Sarah Gilmartin—review by Niall McArdle

Best Irish Published Book of the Year

Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows
by Sophie White
Look! It’s a Woman Writer! by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
Tea for One by Alice Taylor. With photographs by Emma Byrne
The Coastal Atlas of Ireland by Robert Devoy, Val Cummins, Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett & Sarah Kandrot
The Presidents’ Letters: An Unexpected History of Ireland by Flor Mac Carthy

Tree Dogs, Banshee Fingers and Other Irish Words for Nature by Manchán Magan, illustrated by Steve Doogan
Unsettled by Rosaleen McDonagh

Burning Books…on paper— Rosaleen McDonagh, author of Unsettled (Skein Press)

Under the Covers—Fiachra McCarthy on the beauty of constraint and the joy of being various

Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year

Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan
Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
The Legend of Valentine Sorrow by Caroline Busher
The New Girl by Sinéad Moriarty
What Love Looks Like by Jarlath Gregory

Cute, joyous, loveable—the new YA queer romance from Adiba Jaigirdar—review by Catherine Murphy

Short Story of the Year

Blackthorns by Bernard MacLaverty from Blank Pages & Other Stories
Coming In On Time by Stuart Neville from The Traveller and Other Stories
Little Lives by Deirdre Sullivan from I Want to Know That I Will Be OK
The Leaving Place by Jan Carson from The Black Dreams
The Wake by Allen Murrin from Waves of Change
Worms by Roddy Doyle from Life Without Children

Darkling stories in unnerving, visceral new collection from Deirdre Sullivan—review by Fiona Murphy

What books would you save if your house was on fire? Jan Carson—Burning Books

RTÉ Audience Choice Award

As the Smoke Clears (championed by Joe Duffy) by Zoe Holohan
Nanny, Ma, and Me (championed by Zainab Boladale) by Jade, Dominique and Kathleen Jordan
Nora (championed by Seán Rocks) by Nuala O’Connor
Openhearted (championed by Ray D’Arcy) by Ann Ingle
Your One Wild And Precious Life (championed by Doireann Garrihy) by Maureen Gaffney

Conjuring a courageous heroine: Laura King on Nuala O’Connor’s Nora

Irish Language Book of the Year

An Cheathrú Rua agus na hOileáin sa Naoú hAois Déag by Áine Ní Chonghaile Inní by Réaltán Ní Leannáin
Madame Lazare by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin
Mé Suibhne by Feargal Ó Béarra
Ré na bhFathach by Colm Ó Ceallacháin

New imprint releases first novel— Cathal Póirtéir on Madame Lazare, by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin