Congratulations to Vintage authors Bernard MacLaverty and Ruth Fitzmaurice, and Michael Joseph's Marian Keyes, for their wins at the Irish Book Awards last night.
Founded to celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible, The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards are now in their 12th year. They bring together a huge community passionate about books - readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians - to recognise and celebrate the very best of Irish writing talent. The awards are voted for by the Irish public and a panel of judges. All of last night’s winners are now in the running for the Book of the Year, an award decided by the public. You can cast your vote here.
The awards ceremony will be broadcast on RTÉ One TV, tonight at 9.30pm and will later be available on the RTÉ Player.
Bernard MacLaverty's Midwinter Break was named Novel of the Year. Described by Colm Tóibín as "a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers", Midwinter Break is the essential MacLaverty novel: accurate, compassionate, and effortlessly elegant. But it is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together, a chamber piece of real resonance and power.
Ruth Fitzmaurice was crowned Newcomer of the Year for I Found My Tribe, an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband with Motor Neuron Disease, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life. Described by the Sunday Times as "one of the year's most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs", in I Found My Tribe Ruth charts her passion for sea-swimming, just one of the daily coping strategies Ruth uses to preserve her strong but now silent connection with her husband.
Popular Fiction Book of the Year went to The Break by Marian Keyes. A story about the choices we make and how those choices help to make us, The Break was declared a "glorious life-affirming novel" by Woman & Home, and "just brilliant" by the Sunday Times.