Book about John Lennon in Ireland wins prestigious award

Book about John Lennon in Ireland. Photo copyright GabeMC CC3

A book about John Lennon in Ireland has been awarded the prestigious Goldsmith’s Prize.

Beatlebone, written by Irish author Kevin Barry, explores the possible struggles the former Beatles star could have endured during the height of his success, and the sees him travel to Ireland to find peace with himself and his art.

The book is written from the imagination of the author, and is fiction, although much of the details are based on real life.

Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry

John Lennon did buy an uninhibited Irish island called Dorinish for £1,700 in 1967.

Barry’s story imagines what may have happened if he had gone to live there to escape the media spotlight and deal with his own inner demons. It is set in 1978 and is described as Lennon’s “magical mystery tour to an island off the west coast of Ireland”.

Beatlebone was one of six novels on the final shortlist for the coveted Goldsmith’s Prize.

Josh Cohen was Chair of the Judges which selected the winner. He said: “Beatlebone is a novel that takes its reader to the edge – of the Western world, of sanity, of fame, of words. But it also takes us to the very edge of the novel form, where it meets its notorious doppelgänger, autobiography.

“Intricately weaving and blurring fiction and life, Beatlebone embodies beautifully this prize’s spirit of creative risk. We’re proud to crown it our winner.”

Author Kevin Barry received £10,000 prize money as well as the award. He has previously won the 2007 Rooney Prize and 2012 Sunday Times EFG Short Story prize.