7 Irish novels are among 150 titles that have been 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 48 novels in translation with works by authors from 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the USA & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.
Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2018 Award was launched on Monday 6th November by Lord Mayor/Ardmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha, 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 – a UNESCO City of Literature – is renowned throughout the world as a City of writers. There’s no doubt that our rich literary and cultural life makes Dublin a great destination for tourists, for students, and for overseas businesses. It also makes for a better quality of life for all of us who live and work in our capital. “Is cathair litríochta í Baile Átha Cliath“ he said.
Chris Morash, member of the 2017 judging panel and Vice Provost of Trinity College said “Dublin is a City of Literature, it’s a city that has been inscribed in literature in a way that few other cities have, and I think for us to make that a living thing, we need to engage with the new work that is being published every year.”
Kapka Kassabova, travel writer and member of the 2017 judging panel, remarked “Dublin seems a natural home for a prize like this. I truly feel this prize breaks down borders, it stands for connectedness, and we are all connected and you can see this in the longlist of titles. I think this is a truly humanist prize and it stands for humanist values and we need that now more than ever.”
The Irish titles nominated for 2018 are:
• Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
• The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
• The Years That Followed by Catherine Dunne
• The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear MacBride
• Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
• Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
• All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 150 books eligible for the 2018 award were nominated by libraries in 111 cities and 37 countries worldwide; noting that 48 are titles in translation, spanning 18 languages and 25 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, writers who take their inspiration from themes local and universal, in settings real and imagined.”
The 2018 Judging Panel comprises Vona Groarke, Irish poet and Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester; Xiaolu Guo, Chinese British novelist, essayist and filmmaker; Nicky Harman, translator and co-Chair of the Translators Association; Dr. Mpalive Msiska, author and Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and Courttia Newland, novelist and associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan.
Other novels nominated for the 2018 Award include Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Fiction, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire, finalist for the 2017 Miles Franklin Award.
Among the 48 translated books are novels originally published in Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Serbian and Slovene. Translated authors include Han Kang, Roy Jacobsen, Herman Koch, Robert Seethaler, Amos Oz and previous winners, Javier Marías and Juan Gabriel Vásquez. For the first year, translated titles comprise almost exactly one third of the longlist – 32%!
The book that received most nominations this year is Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, chosen by 15 libraries in Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Sweden and the USA.
All of the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 150 titles is available on www.dublinliteraryaward.ieThe shortlist will be published in April 2018 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 13th June.
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a Dublin City Council initiative.
For further information: Dublin City Council Media Relations, 01 222 2106