The Irish Book Awards 2009

Eoin Purcell

Cruelly Unprepared
I went to the Irish Book awards on Wednesday 6th May (thanks to the generosity of Lightning Source) and I foolishly forgot to take either a proper camera or a proper recorder. I was left relying on my Nokia E61i which is in my opinion a very bad media collecting device. On the plus side it did allow me to twitter the results of which you can see here (aren’t hastags great!)!

But other’s were not
The only interesting or useful piece of media I captured at the event itself was a short audio clip of Edna O’Brien as she accepted her Lifetime Achievement award. It is just a snatch of a very good speech which has been proceeded by a wonderful introduction by the remarkably charismatic Seamus Heaney. Fortunately RTÉ comes up trumps on media. Tubridy has some Irish Book Awards pictures on his website, the Entertainment pages have a decent covering story and Morning Ireland carried a great piece the next morning with contributions from both O’Brien and Heaney (that link will launch a player)!

Winners & Losers
If you just want the winners you can get them on the book awards site or on the Irish Playwrights and Screen Writers Guild Blog or this round up story about the awards on As a final media gem, Ryan Tubridy had an interview the next day with double award winner Sebastian Barry (though you’ll need to wade through the whole show to find it!) who is in the States right now was was represented by his publisher Faber.

All told the evening went down a storm and was ahuge success, great for books and authors as a whole I think!

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 6/04/2008

Eoin Purcell

More from the guardian on the Weidenfeld & Nicolson story I wrote about before

The Irish Independent comments on the shortlists for childrens literature prizes (i disagree in places, no doubt it will be clear where)

The hype surrounding Robert Miller’s coming imprint and the reality (Judge which is which for yourselves)
Here and Here

An interesting little rant on the current status of some hallowed Company/Imprint names

Liking time

Frankly, this is just sad news for the Friday Project

Snowbooks had more of the story and then this in Publishing News:

HARPERCOLLINS AND RANDOM House were this week vying to acquire selected author and book assets of publishing house The Friday Project which is expected to go into liquidation at a creditors meeting on 31 March.
Panos Eliades, of insolvency firm Panos Eliades Franklin, told PN on Wednesday: “We have been negotiating with HarperCollins over which authors they want to take over, and today Random House have made contact and they are now also competing for certain authors. We are happy to dispose of the assets on a piecemeal basis, but we are not approaching any other publishers at this stage.”

This sounds so unpleasant for everyone, most unfortunate!

We didn’t win: John Donne did

Eoin Purcell

Or rather John Stubbs’
Donne: The Reformed Soul did. From what was said of it*, it sounded a worthy winner and I have seen it in the store a few times and nearly bought it so I’m not that bitter:

Donne: The Reformed Soul deserved to win the overall award, said the chairman of the judging panel, David Goodhart, because it was “a revelation”. “I had expected a dry literary biography,” he added, “and found myself transported by a historical thriller set amidst the high politics of late 16th-, early 17th-century England, with struggles over religious and national loyalties which have many contemporary echoes.”

I am very disappointed for Brenda though and for everyone involved with Bibeanna which is a beautiful AND important book and didn’t even win in its category.

Oh well. An ceád úr eile.

* Silly Premium Content

Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin nominated for the GlenDimplex New Writers

Eoin Purcell

I may have mentioned some time ago

That I was at the launch of Bibeanna: Memories from a Corner of Ireland pretty soon after I joined Mercier.


Well, now we have just heard some absolutely great news. Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin has been nominated for the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award in the Irish-language category. Yippee!

Congratulations to Brenda and all involved. It is a wonderful book and one we are enormously proud of. It is also selling very well (selling through a reprint very rapidly) which just goes to show that dual language titles with quality design and good content can make a big impact.

Pleased as pie,

Oh and here are some pictures from that launch (It was an amazing day in the Kingdom!)

The BlasketsOut to seaSunny Kerry


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