Friday, 8 May 2009

Irish Book Awards

The Secret ScriptureSebastian Barry picked up two awards for his novel The Secret Scripture at the Irish Book Awards ceremony in The Mansion House on May 7th. Barry's novel about the life of an old woman in a mental hospital in the West of Ireland won both the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award and The Tubridy Show Listeners' Choice Award. The Easons Popular Fiction Award was hotly contested this year with many of the stars of the chicklit genre lined up against each other for the first time -- Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern, Cathy Kelly, Patricia Scanlan and Maeve Binchy. The award was won by Marian Keyes for her novel This Charming Man. Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney picked up the Argosy Non-Fiction Award for Stepping Stones, the book of conversations about his life and work between himself and Dennis O'Driscoll. Heaney presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to distinguished Clare novelist, playwright and short story writer Edna O'Brien. O'Brien, who will be 79 in December, has written fourteen novels, five collections of short stories and several plays, and is still working hard. The Irish Newcomer of the Year award went to Dubliner Ronan O'Brien, author of Confessions of a Fallen Angel. The award for Best Irish-Published Book of the Year was won by Alice Taylor’s The Parish, a depiction of Irish country life. This year, for the first time, Irish crime writing was celebrated at the awards, with the addition of the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award. Alex Barclay picked up the award for her thriller Blood Runs Cold. Derek Landy was the recipient of the Irish Children's Book of the Year (Senior) for the further adventures of his skeleton detective Skulduggery in his book Skulduggery Pleasant - Playing with Fire while Benji Bennett won the Junior award for Before You Sleep. Rugby star Ronan O'Gara was the recipient of the Irish Sports Book of the Year award for his recent autobiography. This is the fourth year of the Irish Book Awards, which were established to “acknowledge the wealth of talent in Irish literature”. This year the public were invited to vote for their favourite book in each category via the Irish Book Awards website.
The winners:
The Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year:The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Ireland AM Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year: Blood Runs Cold by Alex Barclay
The Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year: Stepping Stones by Seamus Heaney and Dennis O'Driscoll
Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year: This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year: Ronan O’Gara: My Autobiography by Ronan O’Gara
International Education Services Irish Newcomer of the Year Award: Confessions of a Fallen Angel by Ronan O’Brien
Best Irish Published Book of the Year: The Parish by Alice Taylor
The Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children’s Book of the Year:
Junior: Before You Sleep by Benji Bennett
Senior: Playing with Fire by Derek Landy

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