Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BOOKS -

THE only way to sur­vive this time of year, in my view, is to travel, which is why I’ll miss the launch of Tramp Press’s spring debuts next week. I’m crazy about cam­pus nov­els so I love the sound of The Red Word by Sarah Hen­stra, a darkly comic, thriller which has just won the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Lit­er­ary Award in Canada. Set in a US col­lege it’s rem­i­nis­cent of the work of Donna Tartt, Tramp’s Sarah Davis-goff tells me.

It’s also cheer­ing in the dog days of Jan­uary to hear the sound of book fes­ti­vals revving up. The grande dame of them all, Lis­towel Writ­ers’ Week, an­nounced de­tails of its Kerry Group Ir­ish Novel of the Year Award, for the best work by an Ir­ish au­thor pub­lished be­tween Fe­bru­ary 1, 2018 and Fe­bru­ary 1, 2019. This year’s ad­ju­di­ca­tors are ac­tress Carol Drinkwa­ter (au­thor of the gor­geous Olive Farm quar­tet) and Ian Mcguire who wrote the sear­ing The North Water. Clos­ing date for sub­mis­sion is Fe­bru­ary 1, and the win­ner will be pre­sented with a cheque for €15,000 at the open­ing of Lis­towel Writ­ers’ Week in late May.

Here in books we be­lieve in gen­er­ous prizes too. Back in Novem­ber we of­fered read­ers the chance to win a €500 EUROSPAR voucher to cel­e­brate its spon­sor­ship of the EUROSPAR Cook­book of the Year at the An Post Ir­ish Book Awards. The an­swer to the ques­tion — which ti­tle won EUROSPAR’S Cook­ery Book of the Year in 2017? — was Cook Well Eat Well by Rory O’con­nell. This smash­ing prize (which in­cluded a ham­per of all the 2018 short­listed cook­ery books) was won by Deirdre Cox, of County Lim­er­ick. Fi­nally a re­minder that the clos­ing date for en­tries for our Christ­mas Great Arts Quiz is this Fri­day. There’s a five-star break for two at the gor­geous Muck­ross Park Ho­tel & Spa to be won.

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