An Post Irish Book of the Year 2022
'My Fourth Time, We Drowned' By Sally Hayden
'My Fourth Time, We Drowned’ by Sally Hayden has been announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2022’.
The book was among six titles competing for the accolade, all of which were category winners at the 2022 An Post Irish Book Awards. Sally Hayden’s book was unveiled as the winning title during a one-hour special television show aired on RTÉ One this evening, hosted by Oliver Callan. Her book won the ‘Odger’s Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.
‘My Fourth Time, We Drowned”, the first book written by Hayden, was triggered by a Facebook message the writer received asking for help from an Eritrean refugee held in a Libyan detention centre. The title is a staggering account of the migrant crisis across North Africa, including dozens of first-hand narratives from people currently living in Libyan detention centres, revealing that they were all incarcerated as a direct result of European policy. This book is about people who have made unimaginable choices, risking everything to survive in a system that wants them to be silent.
The overall ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2022’ winner was decided by a distinguished panel of judges, including a bookstore chain chief executive, two literary editors, a bestselling novelist and the CEO of Children’s Books Ireland.
Maria Dickenson, Chair of the Judging Panel, said:
“My Fourth Time, We Drowned is a moving, compelling and vitally important book. Sally Hayden is an outstanding Irish journalist who has taken her place on the global stage with her incisive journalism, and she has written a book that is as ground-breaking as it is humane. In it, she gives a powerful voice to vulnerable refugees, and holds the highest offices accountable for their plight. The judging panel was unanimous in its praise for My Fourth Time, We Drowned, and is very proud to recognise it as the An Post Irish Book of the Year”.
David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, says:
“Sally Hayden’s book can take its place as one of the great non-fiction books for many years. She never strays from her journalistic discipline but underpins the story of migration with profound empathy.”
Previous winners of this esteemed Irish Book of the Year award also include 'We Don't Know Ourselves' by Fintan O'Toole, 'A Ghost in the Throat' by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, 'Overcoming' by the late Vicky Phelan, 'Solar Bones' by Mike McCormack, 'Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo, and 'Asking for it' by Louise O’Neill.