Media Release 19th November 2018
2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced
11 Canadian novels are among 141 titles nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 39 novels in translation with works by authors from 36 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the USA, South America, and Australia & New Zealand.
Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2019 Award was launched today [19th November] by Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, Patron of the Award, who commended the Award for its promotion of excellence in world literature as well as for the opportunity to promote Irish writing internationally. ‘Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and cultural tourism is a vital part of the City’s economy’ he said: ‘this prestigious Award enhances the City’s worldwide reputation as a literary destination’.
Mike McCormack, on winning the 2018 prize in June commented:
‘It speaks something generous, eloquent and enquiring that Dublin City Council, for so many years have put their resources, their weight, all their expertise behind this prize, it has huge international standing, it has a unique reach and a unique generosity and long may it live, it’s one of the shining jewels in this country’s crown’.
Libraries in Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Saint John, St. John’s, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg were among the libraries in 41 countries worldwide that nominated books for the 2019 longlist.
There have been two Canadian winners of the Award to date. Alistair MacLeod was awarded the prize in 2001 for his novel No Great Mischief, and Rawi Hage received the prize for De Niro’s Game in 2008.
The Canadian titles include:
Brother by David Chariandy
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy
Uncertain Weights and Measures by Jocelyn Parr
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Brendan Teeling, Acting Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 141 books eligible for the 2019 award were nominated by libraries in 115 cities and 41 countries worldwide; noting that 39 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages and 48 are first novels.
Speaking of the global interest in the Award, the City Librarian remarked ‘This great prize affirms Dublin’s commitment to international writers and translators, to literature and creativity. Through this award Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, brings the worldwide community of readers together to read the works of contemporary writers from all corners of the world’.
Other novels nominated for the 2019 Award include Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, winner of the Man Booker Prize, In the Distance by Hernan Díaz, finalist of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser, winner of the 2018 Miles Franklin Award.
Among the 39 translated books are novels originally published in Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Korean, Māori, Serbian and Slovenian. Translated authors include Fredrik Backman, Jean Echenoz, Peter Stamm, Maria Duenas, Zoran Zivkovic and Han Yujoo.
The book that received most nominations this year is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, chosen by 9 libraries in Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain and the USA.
The 2019 Judging Panel comprises Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, bi-lingual Irish novelist and story writer; Martin Middeke, Professor of English at the University of Augsburg, Germany; Hans Christian Oeser, translator, editor and travel writer; Evie Wyld, novelist and bookseller, and Ge Yan, author and Ph.D candidate in Comparative Literature. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan.
All of the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 141 titles is available on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie. The shortlist will be published on 4th April 2019 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 12th June 2019.
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a Dublin City Council initiative.
Notes for Editors:
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. Nominations are made by library systems in major cities throughout the world. Established in 1994 in partnership with the company IMPAC, the Award is now in its 24th year and is wholly funded by Dublin City Council. The Award aims to promote excellence in world literature. Designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010, Dublin’s literary heritage is a significant driver of cultural tourism for the City.
‘I think this is a major prize, it’s such an interesting prize, because of the way it’s set up, because of the way the nominations come, because of the fact that it is funded by Dublin City Library Service, all of this marks it out as being very different. It’s not a corporate sponsor, it’s a different kind of prize based to honour reading, and I think that’s kind of extraordinary, it’s not about marketing, its not about anything else, it’s about honouring good writing and good reading and I think that is exemplary and I think the whole way the prize is set up is wonderful, the scope of it, the way it includes translation in the way that it does, the way it creates different contexts in which you can consider books. So if you’re reading the Man Booker, you’re reading in the context of books that are published in the UK and America, but if you’re reading for this prize, the Dublin Literary prize, you’re reading in the context of books that are published across the world, so I think it is extraordinary that way and I think the winner of this prize, that’s a major achievement.’ Vona Groarke, 2018 judging panel.
Full list of Canadian novels on the 2019 Longlist:
|Next Year For Sure||Zoey Leigh Peterson||America / Canad|
|The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes||Bridget Canning||Canada|
|The Last Beothuk||Gary Collins||Canada|
|Little Sister||Barbara Gowdy||Canada|
|First Snow, Last Light||Wayne Johnston||Canada|
|All Our Wrong Todays||Elan Mastai||Canada|
|Uncertain Weights and Measures||Jocelyn Parr||Canada|
|Son of a Trickster||Eden Robinson||Canada|
|Lost in September||Kathleen Winter||England/Canada|
|Dragon Springs Road||Janie Chang||Taiwan/China/Canada|
For further information contact:
Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277