New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

About Us

New Island Books


New Island Books started out as Raven Arts Press under Dermot Bolger’s stewardship in the 1980s. Today, under publisher Edwin Higel, New Island retains its commitment to exceptional literature and groundbreaking non-fiction. Over the years we have been responsible for discovering and publishing many new authors, as well as revitalising the careers of established authors and is the publishing home of some of the finest literary figures of recent decades. New Island publishes mainly literary fiction, poetry & drama, crime fiction and Irish interest non-fiction especially biography, memoir and history.

Among the writers we have published are Nuala O’Faolain, whose memoir Are You Somebody? was first published by New Island before becoming an international bestseller, Dermot Bolger, Mia Gallagher, Tom Mac Intyre, Mary Lavin, Sinéad Gleeson, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Joseph O’Connor, Julie Parsons, Mary Kenny, Anthony Cronin, 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 Books aims to find the very best new writers. Our début writers in the last few years include June Caldwell, Conor Brady, Oisín Fagan, Lisa Harding and Roisín O’Donnell.

The Open Door Series, founded in association with Patricia Scanlan, 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 the merit of 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 The Irish Arts Council.

New Island Board

Edwin Higel is Managing Director of New Island Books. Originally from Germany, where he studied German and English Literature and Linguistics, Edwin moved to Dublin in the late 1970s, where he worked first as a company representative for Argosy Books, before moving on to become the Irish sales manager for Associated Book Publishers London. In 1997, 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 continuing board member of Compass Independent Publishing Services in London.

Daniel Bolger is Editorial Director of New Island Books, where he has worked since 2015. Originally from Philadelphia, he graduated with an M.Phil in Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin in 2007.

Michael Darcy is Sales Director of New Island Books. He has a broad range of experience representing  a wide range of publishers in his capacity of Sales and Marketing Manager of Brookside Publishing Services. He joined Brookside in 2004 from Waterstones, where he worked for several years variously as bookseller, Front-of-Store Manager and Corporate & Library Sales Manager.

Dermot Bolger is a board member and founding member of New Island Books. He co-founded New Island in 1992 with Edwin Higel as a successor to his own early publishing venture, the innovative Raven Arts Press. He is also a poet, playwright, and novelist.