The collection - published by Jonathan Cape - comprises seven stories following the lives of young men and women in the fictional town of Glanbeigh in County Mayo, Ireland. Widely acclaimed since publishing in September 2013, the collection has also been awarded the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
The Guardian First Book Award recognises the finest new authors who have had their first book published in English in the last year, seeking excellence, promise and originality in both fiction and non-fiction.
As winner, Barrett receives a £10,000 prize plus an advertising package in the Guardian and the Observer.
Lisa Allardice, editor of Guardian Review and chair of the Guardian First Book Award judging panel, said:
"It was a particularly strong shortlist this year, and each of the titles was passionately debated. In the end, however, we awarded the prize to the book that, in the words of one of the judges, was 'simply the best written' of all the titles under discussion - and it is true that Colin Barrett barely hits a false note in the entire collection. We are all confident that we shall be hearing more from him for many years to come".
The ceremony took place in central London on Wednesday 26 November 2014.
Review in The Guardian 7 March, 2014
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