Derry author shortlisted for Irish book prize

Neil Hegarty.
Neil Hegarty.

Derry-born author Neil Hegarty has been shortlisted for this year’s €15,000 Kerry Group ‘Novel of the Year’ Award.

The award honours a best novel by an Irish author published between February 1, 2016 and February 1, 2017 with the €15,000 prize money the largest available solely for Irish writers.

Hegarty has been shortlisted for his debut novel, ‘Inch Levels.’

The prize is run in association with the Kerry Group and Listowel Writers’ Week which takes place between May 31 and June 4, 2017.

The winner will be announced at the opening ceremony of the event.

‘Inch Levels’ tell the story of a family over two generations and the corrosive power of secrets.

It is set in Derry and Donegal against a backdrop of World War II and the Troubles.

Interviewed by the ‘Derry Journal’ last year, Neil Hegarty said the book was “all about Derry.”

‘Inch Levels’, he said, begins and ends inDerry.

“Derry is engraved rightthrough the book, like the writing on a stick of rock!” he said.

“It means alot to me and I hope that people in Derry will enjoy it.”

Neil is the author of the bestselling ‘Story of Ireland,’ a history of the island from the earliest times to the present day.

Originally from the Culmore Road area of the city, he has lived in Dublin for the last 20 years.

He also penned the critically acclaimed authorised biography of TV legend, Sir David Frost and co-wrote the companion book to the award-winning TV series, ‘The Secret History of Our Streets’, a social history of twentieth-century London.