‘Overcoming’ by Vicky Phelan named as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019

‘Overcoming’ by Vicky Phelan and Naomi Linehan, a book written about truth and bravery through Vicky’s remarkable personal story, has been voted the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019’

The ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019’ was chosen by a public vote from the list of category winners announced at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards. Previous winners of this esteemed award include ‘Notes to Self’ by Emilie Pine, ‘Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo, ‘Solar Bones’ by Mike McCormack, ‘Asking for it’ by Louise O’Neill, ‘Academy Street’ by Mary Costello, ‘Staring at Lakes’ by Michael Harding, ‘The Spinning Heart’ by Donal Ryan and ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon.

Published by Hachette Books Ireland, ‘Overcoming’ tells the story of one of the biggest medical and political scandals of our times – Vicky and 220 other women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer were not informed with the crucial information that a clinical audit had revised their earlier, negative smear tests in which their cancers could possibly have been preventable.

Since then, Vicky has become women’s voice for justice on the issue due to her system-changing activism. From a life-threatening accident in early adulthood through to motherhood, a battle with depression, her devastating later discovery that her cancer had returned in shocking circumstance and the enduring detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action, ‘Overcoming’ is an inspiring story of rare resilience and power.

Vicky Phelan, Winner of the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ says:

“I’m truly honoured that my book Overcoming has been voted An Post Book of the Year. I could not have done this without my wonderful ghostwriter, Naomi Linehan, who brought life to my story on the page in a way that I did not think was possible. To my publisher, Hachette, thank you for taking a chance on me and to all the booksellers, thank you for championing my book. Finally, a huge thank you to the public, for whom I wrote this book, who supported and voted for me.”

Maria Dickenson, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says:

“The entire book trade rose to its feet for a lengthy and moving standing ovation when Overcoming
won the RTE Listener’s Choice award at the An Post Irish Book Awards. Vicky is an absolute
inspiration and a powerful advocate for Irish women, and along with Naomi Linehan she has written a
book that perfectly expresses her strength, her warmth and her legacy. A thoroughly deserving Book
of the Year.”

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, says:

“We are delighted that Vicky Phelan is the recipient of the An Post Book of the Year 2019 award for her autobiography ‘Overcoming’. Readers have a unique relationship with writers but especially so with Vicky because of her personal courage in telling her story. As this award is a public vote, this truly demonstrates just how much Vicky’s story resonated with readers across the country.”

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent.

The initiative consists of a range of categories including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Irish Language, Short Story, Poetry and Teen and Young Adult. A one-hour highlight television programme featuring the An Post Irish Book Awards is broadcast on RTÉ One every year.

The ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ public vote was sponsored by National Book Tokens.

For further information, please log on to the An Post Irish Book Awards website or social media channels:


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