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Sally Rooney, George Hamilton and Paul Howard among authors shortlisted for An Post Irish Book Awards 2021


Sally Rooney's Beautiful World Where Are You, nominated for Novel of the Year, on sale in Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Sally Rooney's Beautiful World Where Are You, nominated for Novel of the Year, on sale in Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Sally Rooney's Beautiful World Where Are You, nominated for Novel of the Year, on sale in Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Some of Ireland’s most revered and renowned authors are among the nominees for this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards.

Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You is among six nominees for Eason Novel of the Year. Rooney’s third novel has been received to critical acclaim and stormed to the top of Ireland’s bestseller charts after just three days. It also went straight to number one in the UK when released.

The novel’s release was not without controversy, however, as the author declined an offer from an Israeli publishing house to translate the book into Hebrew. Rooney later clarified this was due to her political stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it was in relation to using an Israeli-publishing house. Ms Rooney said it would be “an honour” to have her latest book translated into Hebrew.

The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 features a diverse mix of writing from new and established writers across 20 categories, including Novel of the Year, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.

Broadcaster George Hamilton has been nominated for his sports book A Nation Holds Its Breath while John Banville’s April in Spain was nominated in the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year category. Louise Nealon’s Snowflake also features on the shortlist for the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year.

Seamas O’Reilly’s Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? was nominated in the Dubray Biography of the year section while RTÉ Washington Correspondent, Brian O’Donovan’s book Four Years in the Cauldron features on the Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year shortlist.

Other authors on the shortlist include Sarah Gilmartin, Fintan O’Toole, Catherine Ryan Howard, Richard Chambers, Donal Skehan, Sinéad Moriarty, Ray Goggins, Rosaleen McDonagh, Oliver Jeffers, Jarlath Gregory, Ann Ingle, Dónal Ryan, Allen Murrin, Áine Ní Chonghaile and many more.

Video of the Day

An in-person awards ceremony will be held in the Convention Centre in Dublin on November 23. A one-hour special will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Wednesday, December 8, exploring the six books and authors shortlisted for the ‘An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year 2021’, culminating in the reveal of this year's overall winner.

A complete list of nominations in each category is published below.

To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website anpostirishbookawards.ie. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five €100 National Book Tokens vouchers. Votes may be cast until 5pm on November 15.

John Treacy, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, said that books were “saving the sanity” of thousands of readers during lockdown.

“Now, thank goodness, the bookshops are open once again and The An Post Irish Book Awards season is upon us. Congratulations to all of the authors who have been shortlisted and we look forward to finding out the winners on November 23”.

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said books were “our best companions through the Pandemic, and as we emerge, they will be our close companions too”.

“The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate brilliant writing from a diverse universe of Irish authors. At An Post we celebrate the joy of reading for all ages, and recognise those who contribute such richness to our lives from the authors, to the publishers, the publicists to the booksellers. These truly are the best Irish books of 2021.”

The An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 Shortlist:

Eason Novel of the Year

Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney (Faber)

Panenka – Rónán Hession (Bluemoose)

Small Things Like These – Claire Keegan (Faber)

The Echo Camber – John Boyne (Doubleday / Transworld)

The Magician – Colm Tóibín (Viking, Penguin General, Penguin Random House)

White City – Kevin Power (Simon & Schuster)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

56 Days – Catherine Ryan Howard (Atlantic Books / Corvus)

All Her Fault – Andrea Mara (Transworld)

April in Spain – John Banville (Faber)

The Dark Room – Sam Blake (Atlantic Books / Corvus)

The Devil’s Advocate – Steve Cavanagh (Orion)

The Killing Kind – Jane Casey (Harper Fiction)

Eason Sports Book of the Year In Association with Ireland AM

Crossing The Line – Willie Anderson with Brendan Fanning (Reach Sport)

Dark Blue – Shane Carthy (The O’Brien Press)

Devotion – Mickey Harte with Brendan Coffey (HarperCollins Ireland)

Fight or Flight: My Life, My Choices – Keith Earls with Tommy Conlon (Reach Sport)

The Nation Holds Its Breath – George Hamilton (Merrion Press)

Unbroken: A journey of adversity, mental strength and physical fitness – Aidan O’Mahony (Hachette Books Ireland)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

A Crooked Tree – Una Mannion (Faber)

Boys Don’t Cry – Fíona Scarlett (Faber)

Dinner Party: A Tragedy – Sarah Gilmartin (Pushkin Press)

Diving for Pearls – Jamie O’Connell (Transworld Ireland)

Holding Her Breath – Eimear Ryan (Sandycove)

Snowflake – Louise Nealon – (Bonnier Books UK)

Odgers Berndtson Ireland Non-Fiction Book of the Year

A State of Emergency – Richard Chambers (HarperCollins Ireland)

Between Two Hells – Diarmaid Ferriter (Profile)

Four Years in the Cauldron – Brian O'Donovan (Sandycove)

Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground – Susan McKay (Blackstaff Press)

The Best Catholics in the World – Derek Scally (Sandycove)

We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 – Fintan O'Toole (Head of Zeus)

Dubray Biography of the Year

Belonging: A Memoir of Place, Beginnings and One Woman's Search for Truth and Justice for the Tuam Babies – Catherine Corless with Naomi Linehan (Hachette Books Ireland)

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – Séamas O'Reilly (Little, Brown Book Group)

Gas Man – Colin Black (HarperCollins Ireland)

Boy 11963 : An Irish Industrial School Childhood and an Extraordinary Search for Home - John Cameron with Kathryn Rogers (Hachette Books Ireland)

Openhearted – Ann Ingle (Sandycove)

Rememberings – Sinéad O'Connor (Sandycove)

Bookselling Ireland Cookbook of the Year

Everyday Cook – Dónal Skehan (Hodder & Stoughton)

How To Cook – Darina Allen (Octopus Books)

Learn to Cook with Neven – Neven Maguire (Gill Books)

Soup Broth Bread – Rachel Allen (Penguin Random House)

The Daly Dish Rides Again: 100 more masso slimming meals for everyday – Gina Daly & Karol Daly (Gill Books)

Trisha's 21 Day Reset – Trisha Lewis (Gill Books)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

About Us – Sinéad Moriarty (Sandycove)

Aisling and the City – Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen (Gill Books)

Freckles – Cecelia Ahern (HarperFiction)

Normal Sheeple – Ross O'Carroll Kelly (Sandycove)

The Guinness Girls: A Hint of Scandal – Emily Hourican (Hachette Books Ireland)

Three Weddings and a Proposal – Sheila O’Flanagan (Headline)

Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year

Awaken Your Power Within – Gerry Hussey (Hachette Books Ireland)

Decor Galore – Laura de Barra (Transworld Ireland)

High Hopes: Making Music, Losing My Way, Learning to Live – Steve Garrigan (Hachette Books Ireland)

A Cloud Where the Birds Rise: A book about love and belonging – Michael Harding and Jacob Stack (Hachette Books Ireland)

Mind Full – Dermot Whelan (Gill Books)

Ranger 22: Lessons From The Front – Ray Goggins (Gill Books)

TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year

Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows – Sophie White (Tramp Press)

Look! It's a Woman Writer! – Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (Arlen House)

Tea for One – Alice Taylor. With photographs by Emma Byrne (Brandon, an imprint of The O'Brien Press)

The Coastal Atlas of Ireland – Robert Devoy, Val Cummins, Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett & Sarah Kandrot (Cork University Press)

The Presidents' Letters – An Unexpected History of Ireland – Flor Mac Carthy (New Island)

Tree Dogs, Banshee Fingers and Other Irish Words for Nature – Manchán Magan, illustrated by Steve Doogan (Gill Books)

Unsettled - Rosaleen McDonagh (Skein Press)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)

Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares – Paul Howard, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove (Penguin)

Lily's Dream - A Lissadell Story – Judi Curtin, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran (The O'Brien Press)

Mr. Spicebag – Freddie Alexander, illustrated by Helen O’Higgins (HarperCollins Ireland)

The Summer I Robbed A Bank – David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge (Penguin)

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street – Sarah Webb, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran (The O'Brien Press)

The Shadows of Rookhaven – Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison (Macmillan Children's Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)

A Hug For You – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard (Sandycove)

Evie's Christmas Wishes – Siobhán Parkinson, illustrated by Shannon Bergin (Little Island Books)

Maybe... – Chris Haughton (Walker Books)

Puffling and the Egg – Erika McGann & Gerry Daly (The O'Brien Press)

There's a Ghost in this House – Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Up on the Mountain – Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year

Baby Teeth – Meg Grehan (Little Island Books)

Not My Problem – Ciara Smyth (Andersen Press)

Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating – Adiba Jaigirdar (Hachette Children's Group)

The Legend of Valentine Sorrow – Caroline Busher (Poolbeg)

The New Girl – Sinéad Moriarty (Gill Books)

What Love Looks Like – Jarlath Gregory (The O'Brien Press)

RTÉ Audience Choice Award

As the Smoke Clears (championed by Joe Duffy) – Zoe Holohan (Gill Books)

Nanny, Ma, and Me (championed by Zainab Boladale) – Jade Jordan, Dominique Jordan and Kathleen Jordan (Hachette Books Ireland)

Nora (championed by Seán Rocks) – Nuala O'Connor (New Island Books)

Openhearted (championed by Ray D'Arcy) - Ann Ingle (Sandycove)

Your One Wild And Precious Life (championed by Doireann Garrihy) – Dr. Maureen Gaffney (Sandycove)

Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

Dónal Ryan

John Boyne

Liz Nugent

Marian Keyes

Maggie O’Farrell

Rónán Hession

Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

Blackthorns – Bernard MacLaverty – from Blank Pages & Other Stories (Jonathan Cape)

Coming In On Time – Stuart Neville – from The Traveller and Other Stories (Bonnier Books UK)

Little Lives – Deirdre Sullivan – from I Want to Know That I Will Be OK (Banshee Press)

The Leaving Place – Jan Carson – from The Black Dreams (Blackstaff Press)

The Wake – Allen Murrin – from Waves of Change (Fresher Publishing)

Worms – Roddy Doyle – from Life Without Children (Jonathan Cape)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

Driftwood – Karen J McDonell (The Cormorant Book/Tread Softly Publishing, August 2021)

Glissando – Noel King (Cyphers, April 2021)

Longboat at Portaferry – Siobhán Campbell (New Hibernia Review, July 2021)

Sestina for the Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze – Michael Naghten Shanks (New Irish Writing / Independent, March 2021)

The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

An Cheathrú Rua agus na hOileáin sa Naoú hAois Déag – Áine Ní Chonghaile (CIC)

Inní – Réaltán Ní Leannáin (Éabhlóid)

Madame Lazare – Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin (Barzaz)

Mé Suibhne – Feargal Ó Béarra (Leabhar Breac)

Ré na bhFathach – Colm Ó Ceallacháin (Leabhar Breac)

The An Post Bookshop of the Year

Bridge Books – Dromore

Bridge Street Books – Wicklow

Carrigaline Bookshop – Carrigaline

Charlie Byrne's Bookshop – Galway

Halfway Up the Stairs – Greystones

Hodges Figgis – Dublin 2

Kenny's Bookshop & Art Gallery – Galway

Kerr's Bookshop – Clonakilty

Little Acorns Bookstore – Derry

Maynooth Bookshop – Maynooth

No Alibis Bookstore – Belfast

Tertulia Bookshop – Westport

The Company of Books – Dublin 6

Woodbine Books – Kilcullen

Woulfe's Bookshop – Listowel

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