14 Australian novels and 6 from New Zealand on the 2019 longlist

Media Release                                                          19th November 2018

2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced


14 Australian novels and 6 from New Zealand 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 works by authors from 36 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada and South America.

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 Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia and libraries in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru and Wellington, New Zealand nominated books for the 2019 award.

Australian author David Malouf was the first winner of the award in 1996 for Remembering Babylon.

The Australian titles include:

Taboo by Kim Scott

A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser

First Person by Richard Flanagan

The New Zealand titles include:

Decline and Fall on Savage Street by Fiona Farrell

The Necessary Angel by C.K. Stead

Sleeps Standing Moetū by Witi Ihimaera with Hemi Kelly

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 Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, winner of the 2012 award for Even the Dogs.

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 Australian/British author and bookseller Evie Wyld, 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 and Ge Yan, Chinese 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.ieThe 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 novels from Australia and New Zealand

A Long Way From Home Peter Carey Australia
Marlborough Man Alan Carter Australia
Song of the Sun God Shankari Chandran Australia
Terra Nullius Claire G. Coleman Australia
The Life to Come Michelle de Kretser Australia
Her Garry Disher Australia
First Person Richard Flanagan Australia
The Choke Sofie Laguna Australia
Incredible Floridas Stephen Orr Australia
The Fish Girl Mirandi Riwoe Australia
See What I Have Done Sarah Schmidt Australia
Taboo Kim Scott Australia
And Fire Came Down Emma Viskic Australia
Clear to the Horizon Dave Warner Australia
The New Animals Pip Adam New Zealand
Decline and Fall on Savage Street Fiona Farrell New Zealand
Sleeps Standing Moetū Witi Ihimaera New Zealand
Baby Annaleese Jochems New Zealand
Through the Lonesome Dark Paddy Richardson New Zealand
The Necessary Angel C. K. Stead New Zealand


For further information contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277