Christine Dwyer Hickey, Aosdána member, and Sinéad Gleeson, Arts Council bursary recipient and former writer in residence in UCD, win the Dalkey Literary Awards.
This marks the first year of the Dalkey Literary Awards, launched in collaboration with Zurich Insurance, and is aimed exclusively at Irish writers with a total prize fund of €30,000. The winner of the ‘Novel of the Year’ category will walk away with
€20,000 whilst the writer crowned ‘Emerging Writer’ will receive €10,000.
The two winning authors are:
Novelist and short story
writer Christine Dwyer Hickey, who wins the Dalkey Literary Award for Novel of the Year with The Narrow Land,
a searing novel of loneliness and regret, depicting the legacy of World War II and the ever-changing concept of the American Dream which the judges described as ‘luscious’, ‘enthralling’, and ‘emotionally engaging’.
Award-winning essayist, editor and renowned arts critic Sinéad Gleeson, who wins the Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer with Constellations,
a collection of powerful essays that delve into art, illness, ghosts, grief, and our very ways of seeing and which the judges felt was “easily one of the standout books in any field over the last 12 months.”
The winners were announced via video link on Saturday 20 June 2020.
Commenting on her win for Novel of the Year, Christine Dwyer Hickey said: “I am so thrilled to have won such a special award at the very first year of the Dalkey Literary Awards. It’s wonderful, I can’t believe it. This means so much to me and that someone
out there appreciates it, validates all of the hard work. I spent five years working on The Narrow Land from beginning to end, so to even be nominated for a prize means the world to me. I will celebrate this for sure!”
Commenting on her win for
Emerging Writer of the Year, Sinéad Gleeson said: “It means a huge amount to even be shortlisted for this prize, not just because Dalkey Book Festival is one of my favourite festivals but because it’s the first year of the Dalkey Literary Awards.
To be recognised for your work is always a wonderful thing and for me, just to get on a shortlist is enough because you already know there has been a lot of people in this crowded field and you got to the final part. I’m thrilled!”
The two winning authors were selected from a panel of 12 writers’ resident in or born in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019. The shortlist for each category was nominated by a designated panel made up of 14 well-known critics, writers
and public figures within the Irish literary world.
Christine Dwyer Hickey is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her novel The Cold Eye of Heaven won the Irish Novel of the Year of the Year 2012 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Last Train from Liguria was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards
novel of the year 2004. Her bestselling novel Tatty was chosen as one of the 50 Irish Books of the Decade, longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award, for which her novel The Dancer was also
Sinéad Gleeson is a writer of essays, criticism and fiction. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers and Gorse, she is a contributor to Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, May 2019), an editor of three short anthologies, including
The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland, both of which won Best Irish Published Book at the Irish Book Awards. Sinéad has also worked as an
arts critic and broadcaster and presented The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1. She lives in Dublin.
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