New Island Books
In 1992, New Island took the place of the legendary Raven Arts Press, which under Dermot Bolger’s stewardship helped so many of the greats of Irish writing to burst upon the literary scene.
Under publisher Edwin Higel, New Island retains and builds on its commitment to leading edge literature as well as non-fiction that addresses core issues of public debate. Over the years we have been the launching pad for many writing careers, as well as revitalising the careers of established authors. New Island is now the publishing home of some of Ireland’s finest literary voices.
New Island actively publishes literary fiction, poetry and drama. Our literary fiction, crime fiction and Irish-interest biography, memoir and history are beginning to find an audience well beyond Irish borders.
Everybody knows the story of Nuala O’Faolain, whose memoir Are You Somebody? was first published by New Island before becoming an international bestseller, and she is joined among many by Dermot Bolger, Mia Gallagher, Mary Lavin, Sinéad Gleeson, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Joseph O’Connor, Julie Parsons, Mary Kenny, Anthony Cronin, Rose Doyle, Ferdia MacAnna, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Paul Durcan, Philip Casey, Maeve Brennan, Carlo Gébler, Nuala Ní Chonchúir/Nuala O’Connor, Deirdre Purcell, Myles Dungan, Glenn Patterson and Billy O’Callaghan.
‘New Island have once again picked up true potential by the ankles.’ – Irish Independent
‘The current powerhouse of Irish fiction’. – Storgy
New Island is keen to find and nurture the very best new writers. Break-through début authors of recent years include June Caldwell, Conor Brady, Oisín Fagan, Lisa Harding, Andrew Meehan and Roisín O’Donnell.
The Open Door Series, the brainchild of novelist Patricia Scanlan and publisher Edwin, has published adult literacy novellas by authors including Maeve Binchy, John Boyne, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Cathy Kelly, Vincent Banville and Cecelia Ahern.
New Island Books launched its Modern Irish Classics series in 2010, which aims to put twentieth-century Irish classics back on the shelves. All have been carefully selected on their literary merit, and lasting importance in the Irish literary canon. The series includes luminaries such as Dermot Bolger, Anthony Cronin, Norah Hoult, Benedict Kiely, Mary Lavin and Walter Macken.
New Island receives funding from Arts Council of Ireland.
New Island is committed to adhering to the governance transparency guidelines set out by the The Arts Council of Ireland. In line with these guidelines, information about the management of the company is set out below
New Island Board
Edwin Higel is Publisher and Managing Director of New Island. Born in Germany, he studied German and English Literature in Tübingen. Edwin moved to Dublin in the late 1970s, teaching at the Goethe Institut. He got involved in Irish bookselling and publishing through book wholesalers Argosy Books and being Irish area manager for Methuen and its associated imprints.
In 1987, he set up his own publishing services agency, and in 1992, with Dermot Bolger, founded New Island Books. He is also a founding member and director of Compass Independent Publishing Services in London/Edinburgh.
Daniel Bolger was born in the United States and studied English and American literature at Temple University in Philadelphia, and graduated with an M.Phil in Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin in 2007. With Dermot (no relation) and Edwin he shares an enthusiasm for great Irish writing that is unconcerned with the boundaries imposed by corporate genres.
Michael Darcy studied English Language Literature at Trinity College Dublin and he has extensive experience in Irish and British bookselling and publishing where, as a director and manager of Brookside Publishing Services, he counts many big names in Irish and UK publishing among his clients.
Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s most respected authors whose awards include the Samuel Beckett Award and the A.E. Memorial Prize. An acclaimed poet, playwright and novelist, his works have been staged and published in many countries. A co-founder of New Island, he joined the board of directors in 2017. Bolger writes for Ireland’s leading newspapers and was named Commentator of the Year at the 2012 Irish Newspaper awards.