If anyone should know it’s Jeffrey Archer who last night won the inaugural International Recognition Award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2014. “If God has given you the gift to tell a story you’re lucky, but you’ve still got to work very hard,” he told the Irish Examiner.
His latest work Be Careful What You Wish For took 1,000 hours and 14 entirely handwritten drafts, he said, adding it was a great honour for him as an Englishman to receive a storytelling award from the Irish, who are “probably the most literate race on earth.”
The lifetime achievement award went to poet Paul Durcan. The award for 2014’s best novel went to Mary Costello for her debut long fiction work Academy St. Women writers dominated some top categories, with Louise O’Neill winning the best newcomer award for Only Ever Yours, and Majella O’Donnell’s hugely popular memoir It’s All in the Head leading the RTÉ John Murray Show Listener’s Choice category.
Unravelling Oliver, a why-dunnit by newcomer Liz Nugent came tops in the crime category. Ceceila Ahern took the popular fiction award for her novel The Year I Met You.
In non-fiction, Neven Maguire’s The Nation’s Favourite Food Fast won cookery title. Brian O’Driscoll’s The Test was deemed the best sports book. Graham Norton won the best non-fiction book of 2014 for his memoir The Life and Loves of a He Devil.
Short fiction award went to John Boyne for his Rest Day. Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy’s Moone Boy and Chris Haughton’s Sh! We Have a Plan won in the senior and junior children’s categories.
Vote for Book of the Year from the winning titles at www.bgeirishbookawards.ie . The winner will be announced on December 5.