NUI Galway Lecturer and Graduate Honoured at Hennessy Literary Awards

Apr 02 2019 Posted: 11:41 IST

Novelist and NUI Galway English lecturer, Mike McCormack, has been inducted into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame. At the ceremony NUI Galway Masters in Writing graduate, Eamon Doggett, was presented with the First Fiction Award for his story Flipping Burgers.

Mike McCormack, originally from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, has published two collections of short stories, Getting It in the Head and Forensic Songs and three novels - Crowe's Requiem, Notes from a Coma and Solar Bones. In 1996, he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. In 1998, Getting It in the Head was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A story from the collection, The Terms, was adapted into an award-winning short film directed by Johnny O'Reilly. In 2006, Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award.  

In May 2016, Mike’s third novel, Solar Bones, the story of a dead man returning to rural Mayo on All Souls’ Day, was published going on to win the Goldsmiths Prize. Solar Bones was voted ‘Novel of the Year’ at the Irish Book Awards 2016 and won the International Dublin Literary Award of €100,000, the largest literary prize in the world for a single novel published in English.

Eamon Doggett, from Bettystown, Co Meath, works as a digital sports reporter in Dublin. He said of his story Flipping Burgers: “My story was loosely based on a friend’s work experience and times I spent in a Burger King in Dublin. Fast food places have their own tics and customs, and aspirations seem to me to hang in the air; people swaying between dreams and their own destruction and the world’s.”

According to Professor Sean Ryder, Chair of English at NUI Galway: “Mike McCormack’s induction into the Hennessy Hall of Fame is a timely recognition of the impact of his astonishing and innovative fiction, not just recently, but over a writing career of many years. His work has continually tested new possibilities for the ways stories can be told, and has given voice to unforgettable characters and compelling visions. This award confirms what we know already: he is one of the most original writers of our time. For Eamon Doggett, the Hennessy First Fiction Award is a gratifying affirmation of an exciting emerging talent. Both Mike and Eamon deserve heartiest congratulations on their awards, and NUI Galway’s English and Creative Writing programmes are honoured by their association with us.”

Dr John Kenny, Director of the MA in Writing at NUI Galway, said: “The Hennessy Literary Awards was a great evening for English and Creative Writing here at NUI Galway. The induction of Mike McCormack into the Hennessy Hall of Fame is a major further endorsement of his status as one of our most distinguished writers, and our undergraduate and postgraduate students continue to benefit enormously from his eminence as an artist, his insights into the world of professional writing, and his fostering skills as a teacher and mentor. Eamon Doggett, one of two MA in Writing graduates shortlisted for the Hennessy First Fiction Award, was co-winner of our inaugural Sylvia O’Brien Prize earlier this year, and his Hennessy win has confirmed his emergent reputation as a young writer of great quality and promise. Seeing Mike and Eamon, writers at such different stages of their careers, recognised in this way by the Hennessy Awards is both stirring and gratifying.”

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