Hollywood star proclaims the leading role of Irish language literature
After a bumper year for Irish language publishing, internationally-renowned actor Ciarán Hinds, today 20 October announced the shortlist for this year’s Irish Language Book of the Year awards at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
Leabhar na Bliana celebrates not only the quality of the writing but also the high production values of books published in the Irish language in the course of a year.
“I’m really lucky in that I can work all over the world in this very cosmopolitan industry,” said Ciarán who has worked with the world’s greatest film directors such as Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, Joel Schumacher and Sam Mendes and who most recently played Mance Rayder in the hugely successful Game of Thrones.
“I think it is brilliant that I can tell people wherever I might be that Irish is amongst the world’s languages which can boast first class reading material for people of all ages to enjoy,” added the actor who is originally from north Belfast.
WHAT IS LEABHAR NA BLIANA
Each year, Irish language publishers from around the country submit books to compete for the two prestigious annual awards which make up Leabhar na Bliana - Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin, the Adult Book of the Year and Gradam Réics Carló, the Young People’s Book of the Year. Following keen competition, ten books in total were shortlisted for this year’s awards. Leabhar na Bliana is funded by Foras na Gaeilge and administered by Oireachtas na Gaeilge.
Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin offers a prize of €4,000 for the publisher and €3,000 for the author while Gradam Réics Carló has a prize fund of €4,000 for the publisher, €1,500 for the author and €1,500 for the artist/illustrator.
“Books written in Irish - be they for adults or young people - have universal appeal, such is their high standard of design, illustration, subject range and storytelling,” according to Liam Ó Maolaodha, Director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. “I congratulate all of this years outstanding entries and wish them well, in the final stage of the competition.”
GRADAM UÍ SHÚILLEABHÁIN
Cló Iar-Chonnacht,winner of Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin 2013, is the publisher of two of the books nominated for the Gradam Uí Shúílleabháin award.
Anamlón Bliana, edited by Tadhg Ó Dúshláine, gives us a fascinating insight into the tortured mind of poet Seán Ó Riordáin through the diaries he kept from 1940 until his death in 1977.
Seal san Aetóip is by Frank Reidy and recounts the ex-Irish Army officer’s journey to Ethiopia in search of the Arc of the Covenant. Frank is a previous winner of Gradam Uí Shuilleabháin for his African Odyssey, Ó Chósta go Cósta, back in 2010.
Conamara based publisher, Futa Fata published Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin’s book Aneas. It is described as “a celebration of the rich vein of wisdom that is to be found in the Munster folklore tradition of the West Kerry Gaeltacht.” This bilingual book is accompanied by stunning photographs by Frenchman, Lanka Haouche Perren.
Cois Life published Sciorrann an tAm, Orna Ní Choileáin’s collection of short stories, full of atmosphere and suspense that will enthral the reader. Orna, author of Canary Wharf, is known for the vibrancy and variety of her work.
Éilis Ní Thiarnaigh is the author of Ár Naomhoidhreacht published by Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta. The book, illustrated with photographs by Father Kevin Lyons, is a collection of prayers that show how our ancestors developed their relationship with Our Lord.
GRADAM RÉICS CARLÓ
Young Irish-speakers, from toddlers to teenagers, have never before had such a wonderful selection of books to enjoy.
Five publishers have a book each on the shortlist with author Áine Ní Ghlinn scoring two nominations in this category.
Her first nomination with publisher LeabhairCOMHAR, recounts the oft-heard Nílim ag Iarraidh Dul ar Scoil (I don’t want to go to school!) whether it’s a tummy ache or a headache or a cold. Any excuse will do! and they are beautifully illustrated by Carol Betera.
Áine’s second book tells of a chance meeting on a train between a boy on the run from his parents and an old man on the run from his children. The book, Daideo, is publisher Cois Life’s second offering on this years shortlist and, as an added bonus, an audio version of the book is also available from Cois Life’s website free of charge.
Previous award winners, An tSnáthaid Mhór are shortlisted with their offering POP!.
POP! tells the story of Roo and her friends, Bear and Armadillo, who begin to recall the traumatic events that unfolded the last time they used the very powerful Space Gum! This book is written by Caitríona Nic Sheáin and illustrated by Andrew Whitson.
Róbó-Mhadra, written by Máire Ní Ghallchobhair and with illustrations by Peter Donnelly, is a detective story featuring Jeaic, his dog Lúlú and a robot on the scent of a robber who has been seen in the area.
Róbó-Mhadra, part of the Jeaic and Lúlú series of books, is published by Leabhar Breac
Uinseann Donn by multi-talented, singer/writer/ publisher Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin is about a very grumpy bear who can’t stand the birds singing until one day he hears a sound that changes his mind … This book is illustrated by Írisz Agócs and published by Futa Fata.
The winners of Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin and Gradam Réics Carló will be announced at a special ceremony in Belfast on 12 November at the award winning Irish Language Arts venue, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in Belfast.
For more information, author biogs, book covers, go to http;//url.ie/vwwg