39 novels in translation on the 2019 longlist

Media Release                                                          19th November 2018

2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced


39 novels in translation 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, 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’.

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 39 novels were translated from 15 languages in to English.

9 of the 23 previous winners of the award have been novels in translation. The author received €75,000 and the translator received €25,000.

2017: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn

2014: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean

2010: The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker translated from Dutch by David Colmer

2007: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson translated from Norwegian by Anne Born

2004: This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun translated from French by Linda Coverdale

2003: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk translated from Turkish by Erdag M. Göknar

2002: Atomised by Michel Houellebecq, translated from French by Frank Wynne

1998: The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller , translated from German by Michael Hofmann

1997: A Heart So White by Javier Marías translated from Spanishby Margaret Jull Costa

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.

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.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 in translation on the 2019 Longlist:

Beartown  Fredrik Backman Swedish Neil Smith
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao Martha Batalha Portuguese Eric M. B. Becker
The 7th Function of Language Laurent Binet French Sam Taylor
The Vineyard Maria Dueñas Spanish Nick Caistor & Lorenza García
Special Envoy Jean Echenoz French Sam Taylor
Compass Mathiaqs Énard French Charlotte Mandell
Go, Went, Gone Jenny Erpenbeck German Susan Bernofsky
The Invented Part Rodrigo Fresán Spanish Will Vanderhyden
Return to the Dark Valley Santiago Gamboa Spanish Howard Curtis
A House in Norway Vigdis Hjorth Norwegian Charlotte Barslund
Sleeps Standing Moetū Witi Ihimaera Maori Hemi Kelly
You Should Have Left Daniel Kehlmann German Ross Benjamin
Of Darkness Josefine Klougart Danish Martin Aitken
The Harvest of Chronos Mojca Kumerdej Slovenian Rawley Grau
Ferocity Nicola Lagioia Italian Antony Shugaar
A Poison Apple Michel Laub Portuguese Daniel Hahn
Escape From Sunset Grove Minna Lindgren Finnish Kristian London
The End of Eddy Édouard Louis French Michael Lucey
The History of Bees Maja Lunde Norwegian Diane Oatley
The Temptation to be Happy Lorenzo Marone Italian Shaun Whiteside
Like a Fading Shadow Antonio Muñoz Molina Spanish Camilo A. Ramirez
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme Lars Mytting Norwegian Paul Russell Garrett
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal Dorthe Nors Danish Misha Hoekstra
Heretics Leonardo Padura Spanish Anna Kushner
The Death of the Perfect Sentence Rein Raud Estonian Matthew Hyde
To Die in Spring Ralf Rothmann German Shaun Whiteside
Adua Igiaba Scego Italian Jamie Richards
Tench Inge Schilperoord Dutch David Colmer
Fever Dream Samantha Schweblin Spanish Megan McDowell
Kruso Lutz Seiler German Tess Lewis
To the Back of Beyond Peter Stamm German Michael Hofmann
My Cat Yugoslavia Pajtim Statovci Finnish David Hackston
Monte Carlo Peter Terrin Dutch David Doherty
Naondel ; the Red Abbey Chronicles Maria Turtschaninoff Swedish A.A. Prime
They Know Not What They Do Jussi Valtonen Finnish Kristian London
Radiant Terminus Antoine Volodine French Jeffrey Zuckerman
The Consequences Niña  Weijers Dutch Hester Velmans
The Impossible Fairytale Han Yujoo Korean Janet Hong
The Image Interpreter Zoran Živković Serbian Randall A. Major


For further information contact:

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