So, it is gratifying to observe that good writing is still happening and coming from people who may not be household names here but whose work is being recognised abroad.
John Toomey has just won Britain’s Rubery Prize for Fiction for his novel, Slipping, which is published by Dalkey Archive Press.
Last year, Irish writer Sebastian Barry won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year award for the second time for his novel Days Without End, while young Irish author Sally Rooney’s book Conversations with Friends made the shortlist for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
Awards apart, there is a new energy in Irish literature, with the rise of a new wave of writers, like Kevin Barry, Donal Ryan, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney, and Sara Baume, to name just a few. Thanks to them, and many others, our reputation remains intact.