Novel of the Year


Novel of the Year

About the award

Inaugurated in 2000, the Novel of the Year was the foundation stone of the Irish Book Awards. Early winners included John McGahern, Colum McCann and Anne Enright. Eason are proud to sponsor this prestigious award, which is always a mark of the depth and quality of Irish fiction.

Sponsored by

The Shortlist 2021

White City
Kevin Power
The Magician
Colm Tóibín
The Echo Chamber
John Boyne
Small Things Like These
Claire Keegan
Rónán Hession
Beautiful World, Where Are you
Sally Rooney

Eason Novel of the Year 2021


by Louise Kennedy

One by one, she undid each event, each decision, each choice.

If Davy had remembered to put on a coat.

If Seamie McGeown had not found himself alone on a dark street.

If Michael Agnew had not walked through the door of the pub on a quiet night in February in his white shirt.

There is nothing special about the day Cushla meets Michael, a married man from Belfast, in the pub owned by her family. But here, love is never far from violence, and this encounter will change both of their lives forever.

As people get up each morning and go to work, school, church or the pub, the daily news rolls in of another car bomb exploded, another man beaten, killed or left for dead. In the class Cushla teaches, the vocabulary of seven-year-old children now includes phrases like ‘petrol bomb’ and ‘rubber bullets’. And as she is forced to tread lines she never thought she would cross, tensions in the town are escalating, threatening to destroy all she is working to hold together.

Tender and shocking, Trespasses is an unforgettable debut of people trying to live ordinary lives in extraordinary times.

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
by Joseph O’Connor
Normal People
by Sally Rooney
Midwinter Break
by Bernard MacLaverty
Solar Bones
by Mike McCormack

Previous Winners

2020 – Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan

2019 – Shadowplay
by Joseph O’Connor

2018 – Normal People
by Sally Rooney

2017 – Midwinter Break
by Bernard MacLaverty

2016 – Solar Bones
by Mike McCormack

2015 – The Green Road
by Anne Enright

2014 – Academy Street
by Mary Costello

2013 – The Guts
by Roddy Doyle

2012 – Ancient Light
by John Banville

2011 – Mistaken
by Neil Jordan

2010 – Room
by Emma Donoghue

2009 – The Secret Scripture
by Sebastian Barry

2008 – The Gathering
by Anne Enright

2007 – Winterwood
by Patrick McCabe

2006 – The Sea
by John Banville

2005 – Havoc In Its Third Year
by Ronan Bennett

2004 – Dancer
by Colum McCann

2003 – That They May Face the Rising Sun
by John McGahern