Our Top 10 Irish Book Releases of 2020

2020 has been an unusual year for book publishing, with many new releases not having the launch that they would have expected and with many being delayed or rescheduled. In fact, September and October turned out to be some of the busiest ever months for publishing with 355 new books being published on October 1st alone. With all that said, Ireland’s great wealth of writers have still managed to make a splash in the book scene. Here are some of Dublin Book Festival’s favourite new releases of the year. 

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghriofa 

This is Ní Ghriofa’s prose debut and it does not disappoint. Experimenting with form and style, we can guarantee that you have never read anything like this before. Following the author’s admiration of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s poem Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, this book is a stunning portrayal of the effects that art can have on our lives.

Ní Ghriofa will be featured in our Ireland’s Emerging Writers event. Find out more here:


Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent 

One of Ireland’s most beloved crime writers, Liz Nugent released Our Little Cruelties earlier this year. A domestic drama following three brothers and their betrayals to each other, Nugent paints a compelling picture of the secrets families can keep and the troubles that can go on behind closed doors.

Liz Nugent will be chatting to Denise Mina about her latest novel The Less Dead at our event in partnership with The Murder One Festival. Check it out here:


After The Silence by Louise O’Neill 

When a documentary crew arrives in an attempt to unveil the truth of what happened when Nessa Crowley was murdered, many secrets from the island of Inisrún are uncovered. From the author of the hugely successful Asking For It, After The Silence is a gripping crime novel dealing with secrets and lies in rural Ireland. 

Louise will be chatting to Dil Wickremasinghe about After The Silence, secure your ticket below:


Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan’s best selling Strange Flowers follows the Gladney’s of Tipperary and their daughter Moll who went missing in 1973. When Moll finally returns, she brings with her a newness that the people of her town have never seen. Strange Flowers is a beautifully written portrayal of love, loss and home. 

The Art of The Glimpse edited by Sinead Gleeson 

Having previously edited The Long Gaze Back and The Glass Shore, Sinéad Gleeson is back with another collection of Irish short stories. The Art of The Glimpse attempts to rewrite the canon of the irish short story, with many of its contributors coming from marginalised backgrounds. An important collection, featuring many writers we have all heard of and many we have yet to discover. 

Ok, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea  by Patrick Freyne 

Journalist Patrick Freyne’s debut collection of essays Ok, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea is a hilarious read from start to finish. From stories of ridiculous things Freyne has done and what he has learned from them to insightful looks at loss and joy in life. This is a deeply touching read.

Freyne will be featured in our Ireland’s Emerging Writers event. Check out the details below:


Actress by Anne Enright

Booker prize winning writer Anne Enright released her latest work of literary fiction, Actress, earlier this year. Following the fictional actress Katherine O’Dell, her daughter Norah and their relationship with themselves and their work throughout the years, this novel looks at fame, family and the negatives of stardom. 

The Butchers by Ruth Gilligan 

Writer, journalist and academic Ruth Gilligan’s most recent novel The Butchers is set in the Irish borderlands during the 1996 BSE crisis and present day. Grounded in the reality of living in 1990’s Ireland, this novel is gripping from beginning to end. 

Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan 

Young Adult writer Deirdre Sullivan has recently released Savage Her Reply, a dark feminist retelling of the Irish myth, The Children of Lir. Sullivan’s writing is always lyrical, creating a magical atmosphere and this novel is no different. Perfect for teens and adults alike, Savage Her Reply is a haunting book to delve into this autumn.

The Dead Zoo by Peter Donnelly  

Here is one for our younger readers (Or not! We don’t judge) from the author of the award winning President’s picture books. The Dead Zoo follows Mr. Gray, the grumpy and serious man who runs The Dead Zoo and the mouse that has infringed on his museum. A comfort-read for all the family!

Peter Donnelly will read from his book at The National History Museum with a draw-along in a family-friendly event this November. Check out the details here: https://dublinbookfestival.com/staging/programme/the-dead-zoo-2/

This year, we have teamed up with our long-time partners, The Gutter Bookshop for all your book-buying needs. Has this list got you itching to start a new book? Why not check out their website… go on… treat yourself… https://gutterbookshop.com/