WB Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Iris Murdoch — Ireland’s roster of literary greats reads like a register of the world’s best writers, packing tremendous punch across all genres and forms, from poetry and plays, to ground-breaking novels.

But it’s not all about the distant past – Ireland certainly isn’t short of exceptional writers from more recent days and contemporary times. To find out more about Ireland’s vibrant contemporary writing scene, read our Industry Insights feature with Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin, writer of thrilling, bestselling crime novels as Sam Blake, and founder and managing director of Ireland’s seminal national writing resources website, www.writing.ie

Like their illustrious predecessors, the authors in this Collection span all manner of genres and forms. Mention must be made of Edna O’Brien, who’s been blazing a trail for truth and literary excellence since 1960 when her first novel was published. She’s a one-of-a-kind writer whose novels centre women’s experiences, often casting an honest, insightful light on repression, emotional isolation and ill-fated romantic relationships.

Then there’s Marian Keyes, a national treasure whose bestselling novels tackle emotional turmoil with tremendous wit and warmth — writing stories that are funny, compelling, and so full of thought-provoking heart in one fell swoop is a rare skill indeed.

Honesty is a feature of the work of many of the writers included in this collection, among them Roddy Doyle and Frank McCourt, whose moving stories of working class lives, struggles, endurance and survival have seen them garner global acclaim.

Talking of honesty and global acclaim, Sally Rooney’s multi-award-winning novels have become major cultural events, with fans queuing around the block to get their hands on her latest. What’s more, like a number of her Irish literary forebears, Rooney boldly defies convention (no speech marks) to create boldly honest stories. In the words of one of our reviewers: “Her compelling writing just grabs you and her way of investigating the complexity of relationships and dynamics is just so incisive”.

On the theme of defying convention, Sarah Crossan’s novels-in-verse are mind-blowingly brilliant (some of the most moving, memorable books I’ve ever read), while fans of crime fiction and psychological thrillers will want to dive into everything Jane Casey and Tana French have written.

Paul Murray, Liz Nugent, Eimear Ryan, Claire Keegan, Peter Donnelly, Sarah Webb and Lucinda Jacob as well as Moïra Fowley were among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards which were held in the Convention Centre in Dublin on 22nd November.

There really are far too many amazing Irish writers to do justice to even a fraction of them here (not that we’re complaining, of course), so the following list showcases some of the best books some by those talents. Sláinte!