Lush Shortlist For An Post Irish Book Awards

Lush Shortlist For An Post Irish Book Awards
Irish Book Awards Shortlists Announced

It’ll be rather more subdued An Post Irish Book Awards ceremony this year, but that shouldn’t stop us celebrating the best of Irish writing. Normally a star-studded event, the awards night is eagerly awaited by the shortlisted authors and their friends and families. Books, music and film – the arts, basically –  sustained us through the last lockdown. Recent research has shown, however, that while we went hell-for-leather buying books last time around, we didn’t give much support to our local booksellers, most of whom upped their online game considerably and were delivering and posting countrywide. Have a look at these shortlists and consider some purchases from your local bookshop rather than from international corporations with dubious practices.

Newcomer of the Year

Michelle Gallen for Big Girl, Small Town

Naoise Dolan for Exciting Times

Niamh Campbell for This Happy

Rachel Donohoe for The Temple House Vanishing

Crime Fiction Book of the Year

If crime is your bag, this year’s list is highly competitive –

Catherine Ryan Howard for The Nothing Man

Jane Casey for The Cutting Place

Liz Nugent for Our Little Cruelties

Louise O’Neill for After The Silence

Lucy Foley for The Guest List

Steve Cavanagh for Fifty Fifty


This year’s non-fiction list is full of heavy hitters. Irish Times journalist Patrick Freyne is shortlisted for his essay collection along with his partner Anna Carey. Poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s beautiful A Ghost in the Throat is likely a front runner. As is the late Keelin Shanley’s moving and joy-filled posthumously published memoir A Light that Never Goes Out. Keelin herself was a big supporter of the Irish Book Awards and presented the show on several occasions.

The Novel Of The Year

The big one, of course, is the Novel of the Year award.

Anne Enright for Actress

Caolinn Hughes for The Wild Laughter

Donal Ryan for Strange Flowers

Elaine Feeney for As You Were

Emma Donoghue for The Pull of the Stars

Maggie O’Farrell for Hamnet

There are rich pickings in there and it’s notable how many women are shortlisted this year. Do yourself a favour, check out all of the shortlists, see what you fancy and set yourself up for the lockdown with the very best of Irish writing.

For the full list of shortlisted work, check out