Eason Novel of the Year

Shortlisted 2021


By Rónán Hession

PANENKA has spent 25 years living with the disastrous mistake of his past, which have made him an exile in his home town and cost him his dearest friendships.

Now aged 50, Panenka begins to rebuild an improvised family life with his estranged daughter and her seven year old son. But at night Panenka suffers crippling headaches that he calls his iron mask. Faced with losing everything, he meets Esther, a woman who has come to to live in the town to escape her own disappointments. Together, they find resonance in each other’s experiences and learn new ways to let love into their broken lives.

About Rónán Hession...

Rónán Hession is an Irish writer who lives in Dublin. His debut novel
Leonard and Hungry Paul was published by Bluemoose Books in 2019. The Sunday Times chose it as one of the 50 great Irish novels of the century. It has been selected as the 2021 One Dublin One Book by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. It was short listed for the An Post Irish Book Awards; Best Newcomer, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. The British Book Awards, Debut Book of The Year. Books Are My Bag Awards; Fiction. The Dalkey Emerging Writer Award. The McKitterick Prize. His short story, The Translator’s Funeral was short listed for the An Post Irish Book Awards Writing.ie Short Story of the Year.

As Mumblin’ Deaf Ro he has released three albums of story telling songs. His third album Dictionary Crimes was short listed for The Choice Music Album of the Year.

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