Sally Rooney, Maureen Gaffney, Séamas O’Reilly, Keith Earls, Louise Nealon, Fintan O’Toole, Emer McLysaght, Sarah Breen and Donal Skehan were among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, held virtually on RTÉ Culture this evening.
The Eason Novel of the Year Award was won by Sally Rooney for Beautiful World, Where Are You, while the RTÉ Audience Choice Award went to Maureen Gaffney's Your One Wild And Precious Life.
Watch the An Post Irish Book Awards Virtual Ceremony 2021
The National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year prize went to Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, while Sinead Moriarty's The New Girl was named Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year, and 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard crowned Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year.
First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards are Ireland's biggest literary celebration, showcasing a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 20 categories - championing everything from novels and non-fiction to poetry, short stories and the Irish language.
In one of a number of new categories announced this year, Kenny's Bookshop and Art Gallery in Galway claimed the An Post Bookshop of the Year award prize, while Marian Keyes was named Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year.
The 2021 Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year prize went to Snowflake author Louise Nealon, while another debut author Séamas O'Reilly, received the Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year for his memoir Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?
Elsewhere, David King's A Hug for You, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard and inspired by his son Adam, was a popular winner of the Specsavers Children's Book of the Year (Junior) with Children's Book of the Year (Senior) going to The Summer I Robbed a Bank by comedian and author David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge.
This year, Sebastian Barry joins a host of other distinguished recipients of the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, amongst them the likes of John McGahern, Seamus Heaney, and Edna O'Brien.
"For forty years I have been the grateful citizen of a properly mysterious village called the Irish book trade," Barry said in his acceptance speech. "You are all wonderful, dedicated, unusual people. I salute your alchemy and your startling powers."
"An award like this makes a writer feel that their efforts over the many years have been worth the candle.. those boxes, and boxes of candles burnt at both ends. That's a joyous feeling. The best feeling!"
This year’s Awards attracted a record number of votes from the Irish public, with audiences around the world were able to watch the An Post Irish Book Awards ceremony live via RTÉ Culture.
Voting opens tomorrow (November 24th) for the overall An Post Irish Book of the Year, which will be announced on RTE television on December 8th.
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An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 - the winners in full
Eason Novel of the Year
· Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney
Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year
· 56 Days – Catherine Ryan Howard
Eason Sport book of the Year in Association with Ireland AM
· Fight Or Flight: My Life, My Choices – Keith Earls, with Tommy Conlon
Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year
· Snowflake – Louise Nealon
Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year
· We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 – Fintan O’Toole
Dubray Biography of the Year
· Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – Séamas O’Reilly
Bookselling Ireland Cookbook of the Year
· Everyday Cook – Donal Skehan
National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year
· Aisling and the City – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year
· Décor Galore – Laura De Barra
TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year
· The Coastal Atlas of Ireland – Val Cummins, Robert Devoy Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett, Sarah Kandrot
Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
· A Hug for You – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard
Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)
· The Summer I Robbed a Bank – David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge
Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year
· The New Girl – Sinead Moriarty
RTÉ Audience Choice Award
· Your One Wild And Precious Life - Maureen Gaffney
Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year
· Marian Keyes
Writing.ie Short Story of the Year
· Little Lives – Deirdre Sullivan
Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year
· Longboat at Portaferry – Siobhan Campbell
The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year
· Madame Lazare – Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain
The An Post Bookshop of the Year
· Kennys Bookshop and Art Gallery, Galway