Awards and prizes

2018 Man Booker Prize

Belfast-born author Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel Milkman. She is the first Irish author to win the prize since Anne Enright in 2007 for The Gathering, and the first author from Northern Ireland to be awarded the prize.

The novel (Burns’ third) is set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and focuses on a teenage girl who tries to evade the sexual advances of Milkman, a middle-aged paramilitary with a disturbing reputation, who uses family ties, social pressure and political loyalties as weapons of sexual coercion and harassment.

Other books on the award shortlist were Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, The Overstory by Richard Powers and The Long Take by Robin Robertson. See

Michel Déon Prize

Among the six shortlisted titles for the inaugural Michel Déon Prize for non-fiction are titles from PI Members New Island and Cork University Press for Hard Border: Walking through a Century of Partition by Darach MacDonald (New Island) and The Popular Mind in Eighteenth-century Ireland by Vincent Morley (Cork University Press).

Over 240 titles were nominated through the RIA’s website and the judging panel made their choice from the eligible titles. In shortlisting the titles the judges were looking for originality; quality of writing and contribution to knowledge and/or public debate. The €10,000 prize for the winning author is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The author will also get the opportunity to give ‘The Michel Déon Lecture’ in France in early 2019.

To reflect the work and interests of the French writer Michel Déon, who made Ireland his home from the 1970s until his death in 2016, the eligible categories for the prize were – autobiography, biography, cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, travel. Authors of any nationality currently living on the island of Ireland who had published a non-fiction book in the period July 2016 to July 2018 were eligible.

The winner will be announced at an event in early December 2018.

Books Ireland is gratefully supported by the following organisations:

May Book Competition

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

By Brendan Kelly

The twelve-month project of a self-confessed ‘Zen failure’

for a chance to win:

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year
By Brendan Kelly
ISBN: 978-0-7171-8457-6
Publisher: Gill Books



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