We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958 by Fintan O’Toole has been announced as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021.
The six book titles that competed for the accolade were category winners from the recent An Post Irish Book Awards, and the overall winner was revealed as part of a one-hour special television show aired on RTÉ One, hosted by Oliver Callan.
O’Toole’s book won the ‘Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.
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We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958 has been forty years in the making. Described as "a clear-eyed, myth-dispelling masterpiece that combines the personal with the political," the book has been lauded as O’Toole’s finest work to date.
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Listen: Today with Claire Byrne talks to Fintan O'Toole about We Don't Know Ourselves
Polemicist, literary editor, journalist and drama critic for The Irish Times since 1988, O’Toole has been described as Ireland’s leading public intellectual and has been recognised as such with a string of prestigious awards to his credit, including The Orwell Prize for Journalism and the European Press Prize in 2017 and on three occasions, the NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards Broadsheet Columnist of the Year.
His book A History of Ireland in 100 Objects won an Irish Book Award in 2013.
Born in Crumlin and educated at Coláiste Chaoimhín and University College Dublin, he now lives in America where he is a visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. In 2017, he was commissioned by Faber and Faber to write the official biography of Seamus Heaney.
The ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’ was chosen by a combination of an online public vote and a judging panel comprising of General Manager of Dubray Books Maria Dickenson (Chairperson of the judging panel, Literary Editor of the Sunday Independent Madeleine Keane, Senior Executive Librarian with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Public Libraries Marian T Keyes, leading UK literary agent Simon Trewin and CEO of An Post David McRedmond.
The six nominated titles for the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021 were:
Your One Wild and Precious Life – Maureen Gaffney
A Hug For You – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard
Aisling and the City – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – Séamas O’Reilly
We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 – Fintan O’Toole
Beautiful World, Where Are You? – Sally Rooney
Watch the An Post Book of the Year TV programme now on the RTÉ Player.