Donal Ryan Wins European Prize for Literature

Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan has won the European Prize for Literature for his novel The Spinning Heart. The announcement was made at the London Book Fair opening ceremony today. The Tipperary-born author was shortlisted for Ireland alongside Mary Costello and Deirdre Sullivan. Ryan joins winners from Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden and will attend the winners’ ceremony in Brussels on 23 June.

Speaking to Publishing Ireland, Donal Ryan said that it was ‘a lovely honour and great to be included in the effort to expose people across Europe to books from other countries’. Ryan also expressed his wish to remember the late John McNamee, ‘a great bookseller from Portlaoise, who was instrumental in the setting up and promotion of the EUPL in his role as president of the European Boosksellers Federation’.

The announcement, made by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, marks the beginning of a new partnership between the London Book Fair and the European Union Prize for Literature which sees a strong focus on the promotion of the winning authors within the book trade.

The winners receive €5,000 and are encouraged to apply for EU literary translation grants.

spinning heart donal ryan european prize for literature

Donal Ryan’s debut novel The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award was Longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2013. His second novel, The Thing About December is published by Doubleday Ireland and Lilliput Press.

For more information about the EUPL Prize, go to