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Foden and Purcell to judge awards

Giles Foden and Deirdre Purcell will be the judges for this year's Hennessy Literary Awards.

Each is the author of a novel that became pivotal in the career of a major Hollywood star. Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for his performance as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, an adaptation of Foden's Whitbread Award-winning first novel; while Colin Farrell's came to prominence in the RTÉ adaptation of Purcell's 1993 Falling For A Dancer.

Purcell, who was short-listed for the Orange Prize, started her career as an Abbey actress and was later an award-winning feature writer with The Sunday Tribune.

She published her first novel The Dark Hunger in 1984, and has become one of Ireland's best-read authors.

Foden, a former deputy literary editor of The Guardian, is now Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. His other novels include Ladysnmith, Mimi and Toutou Go Forth and Turbulence.

The shortlists in the three Hennessy categories of first fiction, emerging fiction and emerging poetry will be announced in the Irish Independent on March 24 and the awards will take place in the French Embassy on April. 24.

Each category winner will receive a Hennessy trophy and €1,500, while the overall New Irish Writer of the Year, receives an additional trophy and €2,500.

Previous winners include Joseph O'Connor, Colum McCann, Patrick McCabe, Deirdre Madden, and Frank McGuinness.

Indo Review