Last night saw the annual Irish Book Awards announcements happen online, and among the winners was novelist and Irish Examiner columnist Louise O’Neill, taking home the Crime Fiction Book of the Year laurels for most recent novel 'After the Silence'.
The book represents new territory for O'Neill after previous critical and sales successes with 'Almost Love', 'Only Ever Yours', and 'Asking for It', the latter of which has also enjoyed critical acclaim in its theatrical adaptation.
This is what an award ceremony looks like in 2020 - a full face of makeup and slippers. AFTER THE SILENCE has won Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards!— Louise O' Neill (@oneilllo) November 25, 2020
Thank you so, so much to everyone for your support!#ReadersWanted #APIBAS pic.twitter.com/0DZdK9e2wr
“I was shocked to win, given the calibre of the other novels shortlisted and indeed in Irish crime as a whole,' O'Neill told the Irish Examiner this morning.
"This has been a strange year but the response to After the Silence has brought me a huge amount of joy over the last few months. I’m so pleased that people are enjoying it and this award is the icing on the cake!”
O'Neill was joined in celebrations by other Cork winners, including poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose longform prose work 'A Ghost in the Throat', took home Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and comedian and TV personality Graham Norton who won the Popular Fiction Book of the Year honours for 'Home Stretch'.
RTÉ Radio 1's Listeners' Choice Award went to the late Keelin Shanley, for her posthumously-released memoir, 'A Light That Never Goes Out'.
The news of Shanley's win was greeted warmly on social media, with one Twitter user remarking that "there couldn't be a better winner".
Elsewhere, the Novel of the Year award went to Donal Ryan for 'Strange Flowers', and Sinéad Burke's 'Break the Mould' brought home the gold in the Children's Book of the Year - Senior category, while Best Irish-Published Book of the Year was awarded to 'Old Ireland in Colour', an anthology of colourised photographs spanning the medium's early Irish history.
- A Light That Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill Books)
- Strange Flowers – Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)
- A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)
- Old Ireland in Colour – John Breslin & Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (Merrion Press)
- Home Stretch – Graham Norton (Coronet, Hodder & Stoughton)
- Never Mind the Boll***s, Here’s the Science – Luke O’Neill (Gill Books)
- After the Silence – Louise O’Neill (Quercus)
- Champagne Football – Mark Tighe & Paul Rowan (Sandycove)
- Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes – Neven Maguire (Gill Books)
- Cnámh – Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde (Éabhlóid)
- Savage Her Reply – Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Karen Vaughan (Little Island Books)
- Break the Mould – Sinéad Burke, illustrated by Natalie Byrne (Hachette Children’s Books – Imprint: Wren & Rook)
- The Great Irish Farm Book – Darragh McCullough, illustrated by Sally Caulwell (Gill Books)
- Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty, (Little Toller Books)
- In the Museum of Misremembered Things – Linda McKenna (In the Museum of Misremembered Things published by Doire Press)
- I Ate It All And I Really Thought I Wouldn’t – Caoilinn Hughes (LitHub)