40 American novels on the 2019 longist

Media Release                                                          19th November 2018

2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced


40 American 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 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’.

There have been three American winners of the Award to date. Edward Jones was awarded the prize in 2005 for his novel The Known World, Michael Thomas in 2009 for Man Gone Down and in June 2016, Akhil Sharma received the prize for Family Life.

Library systems in 22 cities throughout the USA were among the libraries in 41 countries worldwide that nominated books for the 2019 longlist.

The American titles include:   

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, winner of the Man Booker Prize

A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, shortlisted for the 2018 award for My Name is Lucy Barton

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, recently released as a film.

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 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 American Judge, Eugene R. Sullivan who has chaired the judging panel since 2003.

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.

The full list of American novels:

Temporary People Deepak Unnikrishnan Abu Dhabi /NYC/Chicago/Kerala
4321 Paul Auster American
What We Lose Zinzi Clemmons American
Manhattan Beach Jennifer Egan American
This Is How It Always Is Laurie Frankel American
History of Wolves Emily Fridlund American
There Your Heart Lies Mary Gordon American
The Stone Sky N.K. Jemisin American
The Changeling Victor LaValle American
The Barrowfields Phillip Lewis American
The Ninth Hour Alice McDermott American
Gather the Daughters Jennie Melamed American
Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng American
A Book of American Martyrs Joyce Carol Oates American
Reincarnation Blues Michael Poore American
No One is Coming to Save Us Stephanie Powell Watts American
Idaho Emily Ruskovich American
The Bridge Troll Murders Sheldon Russell American
No One Can Pronounce My Name Rakesh Satyal American
Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders American
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Lisa See American
The Women in the Castle Jessica Shattuck American
House of Spies Daniel Silva American
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland American
Anything is Possible Elizabeth Strout American
My Absolute Darling Gabriel Tallent American
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas American
Borne VanderMeer American
Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesym Ward American
When the English Fall David Williams American
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby Cherise Wolas American
The Book of Joan Lidia Yuknavitch American
Next Year For Sure Zoey Leigh Peterson American / Canadian
Here in Berlin Cristina García American / Cuban born
The Leavers Lisa Ko American/ Chinese
In the Distance Hernan Diaz Argentine / Sweden / America
Spaceman of Bohemia Jaroslav Kalfař Czech / American
The Trick Emanuel Bergmann German / American
Pachinko Min Jin Lee Korean / American
Dreams Beyond the Shore Tamika Gibson Trinidad & Tobago / America


For further information contact:

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