A novel by Ballymahon writer Adrian Duncan has been shortlisted for the 'Irish Novel of the Year' award for 2021. (Photo: F. Ward)

Ballymahon writer shortlisted for €15k 'Irish Novel of the Year' award

A local writer has been shortlisted for the prestigious Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award.

It was announced today that Adrian Duncan's second novel, A Sabbatical in Leipzig, was one of the five shortlisted for the €15,000 prize.

The writer is a native of Terlicken, Ballymahon, who has lived in Berlin for a number of years. A son of Jean and Adrian Sr, he is a former student of the Convent of Mercy in Ballymahon.

Last summer, he won the inaugural John McGahern Book Prize for his "pitch perfect" debut novel, Love Notes From a German Building Site.

This was followed up with 'A Sabbatical in Leipzig' which was published by The Lilliput Press in 2020 and is about Michael, a retired engineer who has lived away from Ireland for most of his life and now resides alone in Bilbao after the death of his girlfriend.

In the Irish Independent recently, the author said A Sabbatical in Leipzig was the book he would most like to be remembered for.

"(The novel) got as close to what it is I mean to say about the world as I think I'll ever get. But who knows, perhaps something down the line will get me closer to what I mean to say. I hope so," he commented.

His latest book, a collection of short stories called Midfield Dynamo, was published last month.

More than fifty novels were submitted for this year’s Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award.

The others that were shortlisted were This Happy by Niamh Campbell; Words to Shape my Name by Laura McKenna; Threshold by Rob Doyle; and Bina by Anakana Schofield.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 2, as part of Listowel Writers' Week.

More from this Topic