Friday 22 March 2019

Check out these new kids on the block and scoop the full set of winners

Carmel Harrington.
Carmel Harrington.

Madeleine Keane

They say time flies when you're having fun. So while it seems like only yesterday that this newspaper proudly put its name to the Newcomer of the Year award, in fact six years have passed since this important laurel was inaugurated into the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards.

In 2011 Belinda McKeon won the first gong for Solace and was followed by Donal Ryan for The Spinning Heart - both novels went on to win the overall Book of the Year.

They were followed by Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist) and Louise O'Neill (Only Ever Yours), and last year I presented the glass trophy to Sara Baume for her impressive debut novel Spill Simmer Falter Wither.

There's a very strong shortlist this year, crackling with verve and variety.

The Maker of Swans by Paraic O'Donnell places precocious Clara in the protection of Mr Crowe, described by one critic as an "ex-society doyen turned crapulent philanderer" while Jess Kidd's Himself follows a foundling called Mahony back to Mulderrig, the Mayo village of his birth.

The remaining quartet are set outside Ireland.

In Red Dirt Elizabeth Reapy tells the story of three Irish youngsters adrift in Australia, fleeing unhappy lives, while This Living and Immortal Thing by Austin Duffy observes an Irish oncologist ruminating on life, love and death in Manhattan's glittering metropolis.

Carmel Harrington takes her readers on a road trip across Europe in The Things I Should Have Told You while Vanessa Ronan's The Last Days of Summer recalls a disturbing crime in small town America.

We've decided to celebrate the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award by giving away a complete set of the 12 winning titles across the awards.

Think of it either as a stunning addition to your library or with books in so many genres - crime, cookery, children's, history, politics, sport, literary and popular fiction - you could see it as getting an early start on your Christmas shopping. To win, just let us know the title and author of the winner of the Newcomer of the Year Award in 2011.

Answers on a postcard to Sunday Independent Books competition, c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, by Wednesday November 23.

The winner will be announced on these pages in early December.

And you can see full coverage of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2016 on Saturday November 19 on RTE1 at 11.15pm.

Sunday Indo Living

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top