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John Banville to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Irish Book Awards

The Booker Prize winner will join the ranks of previous winners John McGahern, Seamus Heaney and Edna O’Brien.

John Banville with his book The Sea at the Man Booker Prize award in 2005.
John Banville with his book The Sea at the Man Booker Prize award in 2005.
Image: John Stillwell/PA

AUTHOR JOHN BANVILLE is to be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards later this month.

The  Booker Prize winner will join the ranks of Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Edna O’Brien and Seamus Heaney who have all previously been presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 67-year-old writer has had a book published almost every three years since his first collection of short stories was published when he was 25. Most recently he has published five books under the pen name Benjamin Black. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea, sixteen years after he was first nominated for the prestigious prize.

“Ireland’s international reputation in contemporary literary fiction owes perhaps more to John Banville than to any other writer and we are indebted to him for it,” said Bert Wright, the administrator of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.

He praised the mixture of “high seriousness” and “wry Irish playfulness” in Banville’s works, noting that he is “constantly trying to write a perfect sentence”.

“His insatiable curiosity and wonderment at the human condition animates his work at all times, boh in the Banville novels and in the more recent Benjamin Black genre novels,” said Wright. “What’s more, and particularly enduring to booksellers, his books sell”.

The awards celebrate the best Irish books published in the last year. The public can vast their vote on the shortlists on the awards website until 21 November 2013.

Winners at last year’s awards included Edna O’Brien, Mary O’Rourke, Maeve Binchy, Donal Ryan, Eoin Colfer, John Banville and Tana French.

Read: John Banville wins Austrian literature prize >

Pictures: Winners of the Irish Book Awards 2012 >

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