Saturday 10 December 2016

Irish author Lisa McInerney scoops another literary prize for post-crash Ireland novel debut

Julia Hunt

Published 22/06/2016 | 20:02

Lisa McInerney
Lisa McInerney

Irish author Lisa McInerney has won the Desmond Elliott Prize for her first novel.

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The Glorious Heresies beat Gavin McCrea's Mrs Engels and The House At The Edge Of The World by Julia Rochester to claim the £10,000 best debut novel of the year award.

The judges, novelist Iain Pears, The Pool's Sam Baker and Katy Guest, former literary editor of the Independent on Sunday, were unanimous in their decision.

Chair of judges Pears said: "We knew we had found a major literary figure of the next generation when we made our choice last month - it's good to see other prize judges have subsequently agreed with us.

"Lisa is a genuinely exciting writer - there is electricity running through her prose.

"This is a complex, unusual, violent book, bleak but with welcome humour, and she manages a huge cast with confidence: there is never any doubt that she is in complete control, right to the unexpected but perfect ending."

The Glorious Heresies, by Lisa McInerney, won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize for best debut novel
The Glorious Heresies, by Lisa McInerney, won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize for best debut novel

The Galway-born author's debut, which also won the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction earlier this month, is set in post-crash Ireland and tells the story of returning exile Maureen, whose reappearance after 40 years threatens the criminal empire her estranged son has spent so long building.

Dallas Manderson, chairman of the prize trustees, called McInerney's book "a supremely confident and compelling work".

He said: "After two major prize wins in just a fortnight, there is no doubt that The Glorious Heresies is an absolutely great book which transcends category or criteria."

Now in its ninth year, the prize is presented in the name of late publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott.

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