Donal Ryan

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Donal Ryan (born 1976) is an Irish writer. His book The Spinning Heart was long listed for the Booker Prize in 2013 and won the Guardian First Book Award[1] in the same year.


Ryan was born outside Nenagh, Tipperary in 1976,.[2] He holds a degree in law from the University of Limerick. He worked for the National Employment Rights Authority until April, 2014, when he became a full-time writer. He is married and lives in Castletroy, County Limerick with his wife and two children.[3]

Ryan's first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December were between them rejected 47 times before being accepted for publication.[4] The Spinning Heart was longlisted for the Booker Prize. The Thing about December, written before The Spinning Heart, was published in 2013.


  • The Spinning Heart (2012)
  • The Thing about December (2013)
  • A Slanting of the Sun: Stories (2015)
  • All We Shall Know (Sept 2016)


  • 2012: Irish Book Awards, winner, Newcomer of the Year (The Spinning Heart)[5]
  • 2012: Irish Book Awards, Book of the Year (The Spinning Heart)
  • 2013: Irish Book Awards, shortlist, Novel of the Year (The Thing About December)
  • 2013: Booker Prize, longlist (The Spinning Heart)
  • 2014: IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, shortlist (The Spinning Heart)
  • 2013: Guardian First Book Award, winner (The Spinning Heart)
  • 2015: European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland), winner (The Spinning Heart)[6]
  • 2015: Irish Book Awards, winner, Short Story of the Year (A Slanting Of The Sun)
  • 2016: Irish Book Awards, shortlist, Novel of the Year (All We Shall Know)
  • 2016: Dublin Book Festival, winner, Irish Book of the Decade (The Spinning Heart)


  1. ^ Richard Lea (28 November 2013). "Guardian first book award 2013 goes to Donal Ryan". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Richard Lea (28 November 2013). "Irish novelist Donal Ryan wins Guardian first book award". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Frances O'Rourke (3 November 2013). "First encounter: Donal and Anne Marie Ryan". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Hector Tobar (26 July 2013). "Rejected 47 times, Irish novelist finally wins recognition". The LA Times. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Rosita Boland (23 November 2012). "Banville wins novel of year at awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ryan wins EU prize for literature". European Union Prize for Literature. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.