E. M. Reapy debut, Red Dirt, wins Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

  

E. M. Reapy debut, Red Dirt, wins Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

Head of Zeus author Elizabeth Reapy was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2017 at Trinity College Dublin on Monday evening.
 
The €10,000 prize is awarded for a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise. Past winners include Anne Enright, Neil Jordan, Deirdre Madden, Colum McCann and Mike McCormack. 
 
Literary agent Jonathan Williams, chair of the selection committee, said: “Although the prize is awarded to a writer on the basis of the literary excellence of a body of work, it is not unusual for it to be conferred when the writer has produced just a single book – as with Colin Barrett and Sara Baume. Elizabeth Reapy’s debut novel, Red Dirt, published in 2016, was reason enough for her to be chosen. The six members of the selection panel read work by 15 to 20 eligible writers, but were unanimous in their choice. Red Dirt is timely in its subject matter – the migration of Ireland’s young generation - inventively narrated in three voices, and displays a sure-footed mastery of the novel form.”
 
Elizabeth Reapy has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. In 2012 she was the Tyrone Guthrie Exchange Irish Writer in Residence in Varuna Writers’ House in New South Wales, Australia – a decisive appointment given the motifs of her novel. Red Dirt won the Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards.
 
Neil Belton, Publishing Director said: 
“Elizabeth Reapy’s first book is set among young Irish migrants in Australia, but it is a powerful work about the moral and psychological disintegration of all our societies in the wake of the great financial crash. Her wit, vivid empathy and imagination make Red Dirt a timeless novel in which characters far from home find that they are their own worst enemies. Head of Zeus is very proud of her achievement.”
 
For more information, please contact Suzanne@headofzeus.com or call 020 7553 7992.