2022 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, Literary prizes

The 2022 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Winner

Congratulations to Irish writer Claire Keegan whose novella Small Things Like These was named winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2022 at Listowel Writers’ Week today. She receives €20,000 prize money.

I read every book on the shortlist and there wasn’t a dud one on it. My favourite was Nuala O’Connor’s NORA, but I think Keegan’s story is a worthy winner.

In my review, published long before the book was added to the shortlist, I described it as “a short, powerful read, one that will linger in the mind for a long time”.

There doesn’t seem to be an official press release about the winning announcement and only a fleeting mention in the Irish Times, so I can’t reveal what the judges thought or said about the book. But if you haven’t read it yet, do hunt it out: I’m yet to see a bad word written about it.

18 thoughts on “The 2022 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Winner”

  1. It’s interesting to see which prizes get a mention in our press.
    I was gobsmacked the other night when the ABC did a brief mention of Tomb of Sand which won the International Booker.
    Does it sound unkind to say that I suspect they confused it with the other Booker? There have been so many clunky reports lately, it’s either work experience week or the B team is giving the A team a rest after the rigours of the election…

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    1. Many of my new colleagues are former broadcast journalists and producers and the stories they have told me about commercial and resource pressures makes me wonder how any news gets broadcast at all!

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      1. It will be interesting to see if the new government takes any initiatives to restore the ABC’s scope and integrity, MIA for quite a while. Maybe if they had certainty on funding for a decade they could abandon the tabloid chase for ratings…

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  2. A worthy winner indeed. I’d only read the Keegan and the Carson books but will get to the rest. I had ‘Nora’ ready to go, even mores so after your review, but it’s evidently popular as I had to return it to my local library. Be interesting to see your review of ‘The raptures’ which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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    1. I had hoped to review The Raptures before now but real life has got in the way. I have to say it’s my least favourite of all the books on the shortlist. I found it a bit repetitive and reading about people dying of a weird virus wasn’t pleasant when I had just tested positive for covid myself. Lol.

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  3. I loved this book and only came across it because of your review – so thank you and I’m happy it has won an award!!

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    1. Ah, that’s a shame about Nora… it’s a One Dublin One Book choice which generally means it gets a lot of exposure, but maybe it hasn’t made it across the Irish Sea just yet.

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