KILNAMONA author Doireann Ní Ghríofa has told us that she is still in disbelief that her debut prose book ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ was a winner at the prestigious Irish Book Awards. The publication is now on the shortlist for Irish Book of the Year, with the winner set to be announced on a televised show this week.
The best-selling publication was named Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards recently. Speaking to The Clare Champion she said, “I still can’t believe that ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ has won this amazing award! It’s been such a strange year. To publish a book in the middle of a pandemic seemed impossible, but my publisher Tramp Press have surpassed themselves, as have all the bookshops that have encouraged people to read it. So many readers in Clare have taken it to their hearts, and I’m very grateful to each and every one of them.”
The award winning book sees Doireann weave two stories together, with eighteenth-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother who turns detective.
The book is now in with a chance of scooping the overall An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020, with the winner set to be revealed in a special TV show this Thursday. The show on RTÉ One at 10.15pm will feature interviews with category winners and will be hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan.
Doireann is also author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA), the Ostana Prize (Italy), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University), the Hartnett Poetry Award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, among others.
This year’s awards attracted a record number of votes from the Irish public, and, for the first time ever, audiences around the world were able to watch the ceremony as it happened on online. First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards showcase a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across sixteen categories, with this year’s awards ceremony taking place online due to the global pandemic. The awards are Ireland’s biggest literary celebration, championing everything from novels and non-fiction to poetry, short stories and the Irish language. This year, over 143,000 votes were cast by the book-loving public to select the winners in each category, up 25% on 2019.