As we have come to expect, there is no shortage of excellent book releases coming this year from Irish authors and publishers. Join us as we take a look at just a small selection of our most highly anticipated releases for 2021.
Pure Gold – John Patrick McHugh (New Island)
Irish writer John Patrick McHugh will celebrate the release of his first short story collection, Pure Gold, this February. Set on an imaginary island off the west coast of Ireland, these stories take an unflinching look at the humanity of their characters. Published by New Island, the collection already comes with Sally Rooney’s blessing and is certainly one to watch.
Sally Go Round the Stars – edited by Sarah Webb and Claire Ranson (The O’Brien Press)
Edited by Sarah Webb and Claire Ranson, this children’s book from The O’Brien Press comprises a selection of rhymes from the original Irish Book Award short-listed title, Sally Go Round the Stars (2011). It features illustrations by Steve McCarthy, and will be available from early March.
Unsettled – Rosaleen McDonagh (Skein Press)
This year, building on their tradition of elevating voices that are often sidelined in Irish society, Skein Press will publish Unsettled by Rosaleen McDonagh. It will tell McDonagh’s story as an activist and the first member of the Traveller community to be appointed to Aosdána.
Line – Niall Bourke (Tramp Press)
Set for release in April, Line by Niall Bourke is a debut novel of speculative fiction following a man, his girlfriend, and his mother as they obey the rules, or lose their place in the ‘line’ — until this everyday obedience is disrupted.
Midfield Dynamo – Adrian Duncan (Lilliput Press)
Adrian Duncan, winner of the inaugural John McGahern prize for his novel Love Notes From a German Building Site, returns this year with a short story collection, Midfield Dynamo. Publishing in April, the collection will borrow from its title and follow a dynamic cast of characters across settings as diverse as North Dublin, Hamburg, and Abu Dhabi.
Nora – Nuala O’Connor (New Island)
In May this year, we will welcome Nuala O’Connor’s fifth novel, Nora, a fictionalised account of the love story between Nora Barnacle and her husband James Joyce, as told from her perspective.
I Want to Know That I Will Be Okay – Deirdre Sullivan (Banshee Press)
Another debut short story collection piquing our interest is Deirdre Sullivan’s I Want to Know That I Will Be Okay, forthcoming from Banshee Press in May. Sullivan, already an established Young Adult author, will introduce herself to an adult audience through stories exploring the trauma and power that reside in women’s bodies.
Trouble – Philip Ó Ceallaigh (Stinging Fly Press)
Co. Wexford native, Philip Ó Ceallaigh, has been awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature, and has previously published two successful short story collections. 2021 will welcome his third such collection, Trouble, coming from Stinging Fly Press in May.
Rememberings – Sinéad O’Connor (Penguin Sandycove)
In her memoir arriving this June, Sinéad O’Connor will let readers in on the details of her turbulent life, from a troubled childhood and musical successes, to internal and public battles with illness and loss. It is sure to be a big hit.
Holding Her Breath – Eimear Ryan (Penguin Sandycove)
Also in June, and also from Sandycove, comes Eimear Ryan’s debut fiction novel, Holding Her Breath, which recounts the story of Beth, a college student attempting to learn more about her poet grandfather while also learning more about herself and her ambitions.
There is so much excellent writing awaiting us – we can’t wait to dive in!