Irish writer of novels and short stories, Edna O’Brien, has won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award at Listowel Writers’ Week for her searing novel “Girl“.
The award ceremony took place online Awards Ceremony, on Wednesday, May 27, 2002, and honoured all competition entrants and their talented writing, during an incredibly strange and unprecedented year.
“Girl” was nominated alongside “The River Capture” by Mary Costello, “Leonard & Hungry Paul” by Rónán Hession, “Night Boat to Tangier” by Kevin Barry, and “Shadowplay” by Joseph O’Connor.
The outstanding novelist who will turn 90 this December, won a sum of €15,000.
Commending the nominees and winner, Frank Hayes, representing sponsor Kerry Group said:
In celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, we are pleased to salute the five shortlisted writers selected by Carol Drinkwater and Ian McGuire. Congratulations to each of them for their wonderful novels which greatly augment the prestige of the literature of Ireland and most especially to our 2020 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award winner Edna O’Brien for her brave, compelling work GIRL.
“Girl” which is O’Brien’s 19th novel is based on the real story of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. It’s a painful and essential read that ends on a hopeful yet realistic note.
Fun Fact: She travelled down to Nigeria several times to gather more information on the story.
Photo Credit: Irishtimes