Media Release 19th November 2018
2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced
10 Irish 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 41 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, 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’.
The Irish titles nominated for 2019 are:
· Mrs Osmond by John Banville
- A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
- Acts of Allegiance by Peter Cunningham
- Smile by Roddy Doyle
- The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney
- Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
- Ithaca by Alan McMonagle
- The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan
- Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
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 2017 Costa Novel Award winner Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, a previous winner of the award in 2012 for Even the Dogs; 2017 Costa First Novel Award winner Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; 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 Slovene. 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 2019and 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 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.
The Irish titles were nominated by:
· Mrs Osmond by John Banville was nominated by Openbare Bibliotheek Gent, Belguim
- A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume was nominated by the Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia and Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne was nominated by libraries in Dunedin, New Zealand; Gent, Belgium; Prague, Czech Republic; Milwaukee & Richmond, USA; Waterford, Ireland.
- Acts of Allegiance by Peter Cunningham was nominated by Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland
- Smile by Roddy Doyle was nominated by Stadtbücherei Frankfurt am Main
- The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney, nominated by Galway Public Library
- Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty was nominated by Bern, Switzerland; Galway, London & Newcastle, UK; Milwaukee & San Diego, USA.
- Ithaca by Alan McMonagle was nominated by Galway
- The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan was nominated by Cork
- Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney was nominated by Liverpool, UK and Stockholm, Sweden.
Previous International DUBLIN Literary Award winners:
2018: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Irish)
2017: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angolan), translated by Daniel Hahn
2016: Family Life by Akhil Sharma (American)
2015: Harvest by Jim Crace (British)
2014: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombian), translated by Anne McLean
2013: City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Irish)
2012: Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor (British)
2011: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Irish)
2010: The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Dutch), translated by David Colmer
2009: Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas (American)
2008: De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (Lebanese / Canadian)
2007: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (Norwegian), translated by Anne Born
2006: The Master by Colm Toibín (Irish)
2005: The Known World by Edward P. Jones (American)
2004: This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun (Moroccan) translated by Linda Coverdale
2003: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish) translated by Erdag M. Göknar
2002: Atomised by Michel Houellebecq (French), translated by Frank Wynne
2001: No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (Canadian)
2000: Wide Open by Nicola Barker (English)
1999: Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller (English)
1998: The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller (Romanian), translated from German by Michael Hofmann
1997: A Heart So White by Javier Marías (Spanish), translated by Margaret Jull Costa
1996: Remembering Babylon by David Malouf (Australian)