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Sally Rooney and Donal Ryan on the shortlist for Costa Novel Award

Sally Rooney's second book Normal People and Donal Ryan's From A Low and Quiet Sea have been on the shortlist for the Costa Novel Award, considered the most prestigious award for a novel that is only accessible to British and Irish writers.

Rooney, from Mayo, and Ryan from Tipperary were both on the long list of the Man Booker Prize this year, which was won by Anna Burns, a Belfast writer, for Milkman. Rooney was also named International Author of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards in the UK and all three Irish authors are on the shortlist for Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards next Tuesday.

Sally Rooney

The Costa jury members described Rooney's novel as "bold, fresh and intense modern" and Ryan's as "compassionate, profound and masterfully written".

Director Lenny Abrahamson is planning to make a TV adaptation of normal people.

Also on the shortlist is 70-year-old Anne Youngson from Oxford for her debut novel Meet Me At The Museum.

Donal Ryan

The Costa prize has five categories: novel, first novel, poetry, children's book and biography. Each winner category receives £ 5,000, while the final Costa Rica winner of the year 2018 receives £ 30,000.

Previous Irish winners included Sebastian Barry, Jennifer Johnston and William Trevor, who won twice.

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