The pre-selected 2021 An Post Irish Book Awards unveiled


George Hamilton, Sarah Gilmartin, Fintan O’Toole, Sally Rooney, Catherine Ryan Howard, Séamas O’Reilly, Donal Skehan, Sinéad Moriarty, Rosaleen McDonagh, Paul Howard (twice!), Oliver Jeffers, Ann Ingle and Donal Ryan are not just a few of the authors nominated today for this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards.

Almost as exciting is the news that shortlisted authors will be able to attend the awards ceremony in person at the Dublin Convention Center on November 23. The event will also be televised live for those who cannot attend.

The presets feature a diverse mix of outstanding writing from new and established writers across 20 categories including Novel of the Year, Kids (Junior & Senior), Cooking, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry , Teen and Young adult and Irish language.

Four new categories are included this year: A Post Bookshop of the Year, designed to recognize their important role, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic; Dubray Biography of the Year; Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year; and Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year.

The public can vote online for the best books of the year at before 5 p.m. on November 15. A one-hour special will air on RTÉ One on December 8, exploring the six shortlisted books and authors for the 2021 An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year, culminating in the reveal of this year’s overall winner.

John Treacy, President of Awards, said: “Like most other sectors, the book industry has faced serious challenges this year: bookstores have been closed; postponed publication dates; events and festivals moved online. We unfortunately missed the personal touch that we all appreciate so much. But then something wonderful happened. We found the books were saving the sanity of thousands of readers during the lockdown. Bookstores operated click-and-collect services to ensure their customers were supplied with the books they wanted. Our booksellers have been up to the task, sometimes delivering books personally to their customers. An Post also responded to everyone’s needs, while supporting booksellers with special rates during the pandemic, which was much appreciated. Now, thank goodness the bookstores are open again and the An Post Irish Book Awards season is upon us. “

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said: “Books have been our best companions during the pandemic, and as we emerge, they will also be our close companions.”

More shortlisted authors this year

The shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021

Novel of the year
Beautiful people, where are you from Sally Rooney
Panenka by Ronan Hession
Little things like these by Claire Keegan
John Boyne’s Echo Camber
The Magician of Colm Tóibín
White City by Kevin Power

Newcomer of the year
A Twisted Tree by Una Mannion
Boys Don’t Cry by Fíona Scarlett
Dinner: a tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin
Diving for Pearls by Jamie O’Connell
Holding his breath by Eimear Ryan
Louise Nealon’s Snowflake

Popular Fiction Book of the Year
About us by Sinéad Moriarty
Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen
Freckles by Cecelia Ahern
Normal sheep by Ross O’Carroll Kelly
The Guinness Girls: A Touch of Scandal by Emily Hourican
Three Weddings and a Proposal by Sheila O’Flanagan

Police Book of the Year
56 days from Catherine Ryan Howard
All his fault by Andrea Mara
April in Spain by John Banville
Sam Blake’s Dark Room
Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh
The Killer Kind by Jane Casey

Sports Book of the Year
Crossing the Willie Anderson Line with Brendan Fanning
Dark Blue by Shane Carthy
Mickey Harte’s Devotion with Brendan Coffey
Fight or Flight: My Life, My Choices by Keith Earls with Tommy Conlon
The Nation Holds Its Breath by George Hamilton
Unbroken by Aidan O’Mahony

Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year
A state of emergency by Richard Chambers
Between Two Hells by Diarmaid Ferriter
Four years in Brian O’Donovan’s cauldron
Protestants in the North: On Changing Ground by Susan McKay
Derek Scally’s Best Catholics in the World
We Don’t Know Each Other: A Personal History of Ireland since 1958 by Fintan O’Toole

Biography of the year
Belonging by Catherine Corless with Naomi Linehan
Have you heard that mom is dead? by Séamas O’Reilly
The Gas Man by Colin Black
Boy 11963 by John Cameron with Kathryn Rogers
Open Hearted by Ann Ingle
Memories of Sinéad O’Connor

Cookbook of the Year
Everyday cuisine by Dónal Skehan
How to cook by Darina Allen
Learn to Cook with Neven by Neven Maguire
Bouillon Bread Soup by Rachel Allen
The Daly Dish Rides Again by Gina Daly & Karol Daly
Trisha’s 21 Day Reset by Trisha Lewis

Lifestyle Book of the Year
Awaken Your Inner Power by Gerry Hussey
Decor galore by Laura de Barra
High Hopes by Steve Garrigan
A Cloud Where Birds Rise by Michael Harding and Jacob Stack
Full of Spirit by Dermot Whelan
Ranger 22 by Ray Goggins

Best Irish Book Published of the Year
Corpsing: My Body and Other Sophie White Horror Shows
See! She’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

Children’s book of the year (senior)
Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares by Paul Howard, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove
Lily’s Dream: A Lissadell Story by Judi Curtin, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran Mr Spicebag by Freddie Alexander, illustrated by Helen O’Higgins
The Summer I Robbed A Bank by David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street by Sarah Webb, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran
Shadows of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison

Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
A Hug For You by David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard
Evie’s Christmas Wishes by Siobhán Parkinson, illustrated by Shannon Bergin Maybe … by Chris Haughton
Puffling and the Egg by Erika McGann & Gerry Daly
There is a ghost in this house by Oliver Jeffers
On the mountain from Peter Donnelly

Book of the year for teens / young adults
Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan
Not my problem by Ciara Smyth
Hani and Ishu’s guide to fake dates by Adiba Jaigirdar
Caroline Busher’s legend of heartbreak on Valentine’s Day
Sinéad Moriarty’s new daughter
What Love Looks Like By Jarlath Gregory

RTÉ Audience Choice Award
As the Smoke Clears (backed 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
Open Heart (championed by Ray D’Arcy) by Ann Ingle
Your One Wild And Precious Life (supported by Doireann Garrihy) by Maureen Gaffney

Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year
Don Ryan
John boyne
Liz nugent
Marian keyes
Maggie O’Farrell
Ronan Hession

Short story of the year
Blackthorns by Bernard MacLaverty from Blank Pages & Other Stories
Coming In On Time by Stuart Neville from The Traveler and Other Stories
Little Lives by Deirdre Sullivan from I Want to Know That I Will Be OK
The Black Dreams Jan Carson’s Place of Departure
Allen Murrin’s wake from Waves of Change
Roddy Doyle’s Worms from Life Without Children

Irish poem of the year
Driftwood by Karen J McDonell
Noel King’s Glissando
Longboat in Portaferry by Siobhán Campbell
Sestina for the daring young man with the flying trapeze by Michael Naghten Shanks

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 de Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin
Mé Suibhne from Feargal Béarra
Ré na bhFathach by Colm Ceallacháin

Bookstore of the Year
Bridge Books – Dromore
Bridge Street Books – Wicklow
Carrigaline bookstore – Carrigaline
Charlie Byrne Bookstore – Galway
Halfway up the stairs – Greystones
Hodges Figgis – Dublin 2
Kenny Bookstore & Art Gallery – Galway
Kerr Bookstore – Clonakilty
Little Acorns Bookstore – Derry
Maynooth Bookstore – Maynooth
No Alibis Bookstore – Belfast
Tertulia Bookstore – Westport
The Book Company – Dublin 6
Woodbine Books – Kilcullen
Woulfe Bookstore – Listowel

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