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Irish author Donal Ryan wins European Union Prize for Literature for 'The Spinning Heart'

HEARTBREAKING: Donal Ryan’s narrative is told from the perspective of village idiot, Johnsey Cunliffe, who is left to fend for himself when both his parnets die. Photo: David Conachy
Irish author Donal Ryan is one of twelve writers to win the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature at the London Book Fair.
Fellow Irish writers Deirdre Sullivan and Mary Costello had also been nominated for the prestigious award which aims to highlight emerging talent in literature and offers a prize of €5,000 for each of the twelve winners.
Winners are also given the opportunity to apply for funding to have their books translated into different languages.
Donal, who hails from Tipperary, published 'The Spinning Heart', about the impact of the financial crash on various inhabitants of a small Irish town, in 2012.
The book was also nominated for the Booker Prize.
The winners of the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature were announced today at the Opening Ceremony of the London Book Fair by Mr. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
The other 11 winners are: Carolina Schutti (Austria); Luka Bekavac (Croatia); Gaëlle Josse (France); Edina Szvoren (Hungary); Lorenzo Amurri (Italy); Undinė Radzevičiūtė (Lithuania); Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway); Magdalena Parys (Poland); David Machado (Portugal); Svetlana Žuchová (Slovakia) and Sara Stridsberg (Sweden).
Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: “My warmest congratulations to the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature!
"This is the only book award dedicated to the best up-and-coming authors from all over Europe, regardless of their country of origin or language.
"With this prize and our continued support for translations of literary works, we are helping literature cross borders and enabling readers to enjoy the wealth of writing talent we have.
"This is crucial: Literature opens the mind, allowing us to come closer together and understand each other better, which is now more vital than ever.”
This year's Prize winners will be presented with their awards during a gala ceremony at the Concert Noble in Brussels on 23 June, in the presence of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics; Mrs. Silvia Costa, MEP and Chair of the Culture and Education Committee and representatives of the Latvian Presidency of the EU.