The shortlist has been unveiled for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020, celebrating the cream of Irish writing across the literary spectrum - view the full shortlist below. 

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year, it brings together a vast community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent... and 2020 is no different. RTÉ's Evelyn O'Rourke introduces the shortlist below...

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The RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners' Choice Award features books selected by five of the station's biggest names - Miriam O'Callaghan, Joe Duffy, Seán Rocks, Ray D'Arcy and Ryan Tubridy.

Husband and wife nominees Anna Carey and Patrick Freyne

Ireland's major literary event returns to celebrate Irish writing across 16 categories, in a golden age for Irish writing, with Diary of a Young Naturalist author Dara McAnulty securing three nominations, while Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Keelin Shanley, Patrick Freyne and Caoilinn Hughes all receive two nominations each.

Nominee Catherine Ryan-Howard

The shortlist features a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers; 2020 nominees include Keelin Shanley, Graham Norton, Marian Keyes, Steve Cavanagh, Roz Purcell, Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Rob Kearney, Mary McAleese, Bernard Brogan, Catherine Ryan Howard, Seán O’Brien, Liz Nugent, Mark Tighe & Paul Rowan, Louise O’Neill, Ray D’Arcy, Maggie O’Farrell, Naoise Dolan, Neven Maguire, Emily Hourican, Roddy Doyle, Niamh Campbell, Luke O’Neill, Dara Ó Briain and many more.

Conor Ferguson, husband of posthumous nominee Keelin Shanley

Given the constraints of Covid-19, nobody will be surprised to hear that the initiative will be rather different this year. The Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 25th November and a TV special will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Thursday, 10th December. This TV show will focus on the top overall category winners, and culminate in one of these titles being announced as the An Post Irish Book of the Year for 2020.

Nominee Emily Hourican

The public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five €100 National Book Tokens vouchers - votes may be cast until 16th November.

Nominee Ruth Medjber

An Post is also continuing with their hugely successful #ReadersWanted campaign, celebrating the value and joy of reading and encouraging everyone to pick up more books, more often. 

The An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 Shortlist is as follows:

Eason Novel of the Year

Actress – Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape – VINTAGE)

The Wild Laughter – Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld Publications)

Strange Flowers – Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)

As You Were – Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker – VINTAGE)

The Pull of the Stars – Emma Donoghue (Pac Macmillan / Picador)

Hamnet – Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder Press, Headline)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

The Glorious Guinness Girls – Emily Hourican (Hachette Books Ireland)

Home Stretch – Graham Norton (Coronet, Hodder & Stoughton)

The Bird in the Bamboo Cage – Hazel Gaynor (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)

Grown Ups – Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph)

Braywatch – Ross O’Carroll Kelly, illustrated by Alan Clarke (Sandycove)

Here is the Beehive – Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Circus)

Odgers Berndtson Ireland Non-Fiction Book of the Year in association with the Business Post

A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)

Beyond the Tape – Marie Cassidy (Hachette Books Ireland)

Notes from an Apocalypse – Mark O’Connell (Granta Books)

Here’s the Story – Mary McAleese (Sandycove)

The Arms Crisis of 1970: The Plot that Never Was – Michael Heney (Head of Zeus)

Tell Me the Truth About Loss – Niamh Fitzpatrick (Gill Books)

Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

· Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller Books)

· A Light that Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill Books)

· Never Mind the Boll***s, Here’s the Science – Luke O’Neill (Gill Books)

· A Guarded Life – Majella Moynihan, with Aoife Kelleher (Hachette Books Ireland)

· How Animals Saved My Life – Noel Fitzpatrick (Trapeze)

· Winging it – Tommie Tiernan (Sandycove)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

· Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller Books)

· Big Girl, Small Town – Michelle Gallen (John Murray)

· Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

· This Happy – Niamh Campbell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

· OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Sandycove)

· The Temple House Vanishing – Rachel Donohue (Atlantic Books / Corvus)

TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year

A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)

An Irish Nature Year – Jane Powers, illustrated by Robert Vaughan (William Collins, HarperCollins)

Old Ireland in Colour –  John Breslin & Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (Merrion Press)

Thirty-Two Words for Field – Manchán Magan (Gill Books)

A Page from my Life – Ray D’Arcy (HarperCollins Ireland)

Twilight Together – Ruth Medjber (Doubleday Ireland)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

The Nothing Man – Catherine Ryan Howard (Atlantic Books / Corvus)

The Cutting Place – Jane Casey (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)

Our Little Cruelties – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

After the Silence – Louise O’Neill (Quercus)

The Guest List – Lucy Foley (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)

Fifty Fifty – Steve Cavanagh (Orion Publishing Group)

Bookselling Ireland Cookbook of the Year

Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen – Clodagh McKenna with photographer Dora Kazmierak (Kyle Books / Octopus / Hachette)

The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone – David and Stephen Flynn (Penguin Ireland)

The Daly Dish – Gina Daly and Karol Daly (Gill Books)

Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes – Neven Maguire (Gill Books)

The Joy of Food – Rory O’Connell (Gill Books)

No Fuss Vegan – Roz Purcell (Penguin Ireland)

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

True Colours – Barry Geraghty with Niall Kelly (Gill Books)

The Hill: My Autobiography – Bernard Brogan with Kieran Shannon (Reach Sport)

The Russian Affair – David Walsh (Simon & Schuster)

Champagne Football – Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan (Sandycove)

No Hiding: My Autobiography – Rob Kearney with David Walsh (Reach Sport)

Fuel – Seán O’Brien with Gerry Thornley (Sandycove)

RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award

Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty (Little Toller Books) – Championed by Ray D’Arcy

A Light That Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill Books) – Championed by Miriam O’Callaghan

OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Sandycove) – Championed by Ryan Tubridy

The Wild Laughter – Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld Publications) – Championed by Joe Duffy

Love – Roddy Doyle (Cape/Vintage) – Championed by Seán Rocks

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)

The Dead Zoo – Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

The Great Irish Farm Book – Darragh McCullough, illustrated by Sally Caulwell (Gill Books)

While We Can’t Hug – Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Faber)

What We’ll Build – Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

The Haunted Lake – P.J. Lynch (Walker Books)

Will You Be My Friend? – Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram (Walker Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)

The Boldness of Betty – Anna Carey (The O’Brien Press)

Miracle on Ebenezer St. – Catherine Doyle (Puffin)

Is There Anybody Out There? – Dara Ó Briain (Scholastic)

Inspiring Stories of Irish Sportswomen – Jacqui Hurley, illustrated by Sinead Colleran, Rachel Corcoran, Jennifer Farley, Jennifer Murphy and Lauren O'Neill (Merrion Press)

The Story of Croke Park – Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, illustrated by Graham Corcoran (The O’Brien Press)

Break the Mould – Sinéad Burke, illustrated by Natalie Byrne (Hachette Children’s Books – Imprint: Wren & Rook)

Dept 51@Eason Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year

The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth (Andersen Press)

Savage Her Reply – Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Karen Vaughan (Little Island Books)

Queen of Coin and Whispers – Helen Corcoran (The O’Brien Press)

Gone Book – Helena Close (Little Island Books)

On Midnight Beach – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Faber)

Hope Against Hope – Sheena Wilkinson (Little Island Books)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

Through the Ears of a Fish – Eleanor Hooker (Poetry Magazine, Chicago)

Terminarch – Jo Burns (Listowel Writers’ Week)

In the Museum of Misremembered Things – Linda McKenna (In the Museum of Misremembered Things published by Doire Press)

Triskele – Catherine Ann Cullen (The Music of What Happens published by New Island Books)

Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

The Emperor of Russia – Jaki McCarrick (New Short Stories 11, Willesden Herald)

Margaret McNaughton – Kit de Waal (Supporting Cast, Viking)

I Ate It All And I Really Thought I Wouldn’t – Caoilinn Hughes (LitHub)

Supermarket Flowers – Dermot Bolger (Secrets Never Told, New Island Books)

You and Him – Louise Kennedy (Irish Times)

Wildflowers – Billy O’Callaghan (The Boatman and Other Stories, John Murray)

The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

Éadaoin – Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)

Bealach na Spáinneach – Liam Mac Cóil (Leabhar Breac)

Cur i gCéill – Celia de Fréine (LeabhairComhar)

Cnámh – Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde (Éabhlóid)

Múscail, a Ghiorria – Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair (Arlen House)

An Diabhal Déanta – Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (Cló Iar Chonnacht)