The 2018 shortlist is announced, 5th April

2 Irish authors, 6 novels in translation on the shortlist


Thursday 5th April 2018: 10 novels have been shortlisted for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award, proudly sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The list includes two novels by Irish authors, The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride and Solar Bones by Mike McCormack; six novels in translation from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Mexico and South Korea; and novels from South Africa and the USA.

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator received €25,000. The award was launched on 7th April 1995 and is now in its 23rd year.

The shortlisted titles are:

  1. Baba Dunja’s Last Love by Alina Bronsky (Ukrainian/German) Translated from the German by Tim Mohr. Published by Europa Editions.
  2. The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera (Mexican) Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. Published by And Other Stories.
  3. The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (Norwegian) Translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett & Don Shaw. Published by MacLehose Press.
  4. Human Acts by Han Kang (South Korean) Translated from Korean by Deborah Smith. Published by Portobello Books and Random House, USA.
  5. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Irish) Published by Faber & Faber.
  6. Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Irish) Published by Tramp Press.
  7. Distant Light  by Antonio Moresco (Italian) Translated from Italian by Richard Dixon. Published by Archipelago Books.
  8. Ladivine  by Marie Ndiaye (French) Translated from French by Jordan Stump. Published by MacLehose Press.
  9. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (South African/Nigerian/Barbadian) Published by Chatto & Windus.
  10.  My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (American) Published by Penguin, UK

 The titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Canada, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the USA’, said Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Ardmhéara, Mícheál Mac Donncha , Patron of the Award. ‘This is the beauty of this award; it reaches out to readers and authors worldwide, while also celebrating excellence in contemporary Irish literature represented on the 2018 shortlist by Eimear McBride and Mike McCormack’.

‘The 2018 winner will be chosen from this diverse international shortlist which includes six novels in translation from French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Korean. The novels come from France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, South Korea and the USA’, said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian. ‘Issues of violence and crime, isolation and reconciliation, identity and family are set in contrasting urban and rural landscapes. For readers, these stories reveal unfamiliar cultures and countries through memorable characters and their literary narratives.’

The five member international judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner which will be announced by Lord Mayor, Ardmhéara, Mícheál Mac Donncha, Patron of the Award, on Wednesday 13th June.

The Lord Mayor reminded Dubliners that they can borrow the shortlisted novels from Dublin City Public Libraries. ‘Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and 13th June, when I announce the winner.’

Twitter: @DublinLitAward


For further information:

Dublin City Council Press Office 087 7400277 Email: press@dublincity.ieLiterary Award Office, Dublin City Libraries 01 6744802/1 Email:


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, 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.

The shortlisted titles were nominated by:

  1. Baba Dunja’s Last Love by Alina Bronsky nominated by libraries in Heidelberg and Leipzig, Germany.
  2. The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera nominated by Mexico City.
  3. The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen nominated by Stavanger library, Norway.
  4. Human Acts by Han Kang nominated by Sydney, Canada and by Los Angeles, USA.
  5. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride nominated by Zurich, Switzerland and by Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland.
  6. Solar Bones by Mike McCormack nominated by Galway libraries and by Nottingham, UK
  7. Distant Light  by Antonio Moresco nominated by Rome, Italy
  8. Ladivine  by Marie Ndiaye  nominated by Kecskemét, Hungary
  9. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso nominated by Cape Town Libraries, South Africa
  10.  My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout nominated by Barcelona, Spain; Halifax, Canada; Tallinn, Estonia, Waterford and Limerick, Ireland.

  2018 Judging Panel

 Vona Groarke has published seven collections of poetry with Gallery Press, the most recent being X (2014) and Selected Poems, reviewed in The Dublin Review of Books as a collection ‘of almost sublime purity’ and awarded the Pigott Prize for the best book of poetry by an Irish poet in 2016. Described in the Irish Times as ‘intriguing… erudite and elegant’, her book-length essay on art-frames, Four Sides Full, was also published in 2016 and was the Book on One on RTE Radio. Her poems have recently appeared in The New YorkerPloughshares, The New York Review of Books and The Threepenny Review. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review and Selector for the Poetry Book Society, she is a Senior Lecturer in poetry at the University of Manchester.  She was the 2017 inductee into the Irish Literary Hall of Fame, and has been a member of Aosdána since 2010.

Nicky Harman is co-Chair of the Translators Association (Society of Authors) and translates Chinese literature (and some non-fiction and poetry) into English. Her authors include Chen Xiwo, Han Dong, Hong Ying, Dorothy Tse, Xinran, Yan Geling and Zhang Ling. She mentors new translators, teaches summer schools, and judges translation competitions. She works with others on the literary website Paper Republic (, writes blogs and runs events to promote Chinese literature in English, in collaboration with the London Free Word Centre, Southbank Centre and the Writing Chinese project (Leeds University). She tweets as @cfbcuk and @NickyHarman_cn. She is based in Weymouth, UK.

 Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese British novelist, essayist and filmmaker. She has published seven novels, short story collections and a memoir with Random House UK/USA. Her novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was translated into 27 languages and was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction. UFO In Her Eyes, a study of totalitarianism in a semi-real Chinese village, has been translated into 9 languages and made into an award winning feature film. Her other novels such as Village of Stone was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel is I Am China, about the artist’s role in a politicized world, longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Fiction Prize. Her memoir Once Upon A Time in the East was released in 2017 by Penguin Random House. In 2013 she was named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She lives in London.

Courttia Newland is the author of seven works of fiction that include his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013 and has been optioned by Cowboy Films. He was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, The Frank O’ Conner award, The CWA Dagger in the Library Award, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and The Theatre 503 Award for playwriting as well as numerous others. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2016 he was awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. He is associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster and is completing a PhD in creative writing.

Dr Mpalive-Hangson Msiska is a Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, with special interest in Post-colonial and Global Literatures.  He has written widely on African and Post-colonial Literatures, including the following books: Post-colonial Identity in Wole Soyinka (2007) and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (2007) (co-authored).  He has been a judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing as well as the Brunel University African Poetry Prize.  He sits on the Boards of the Royal African Society, The Canon Collins Education and Legal Trust and The British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, non-voting chair of the judging panel, is a Senior Federal Judge and a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience from over sixteen years on the bench. His first novel, The Majority Rules, was published in 2005.  His second novel of his political thriller trilogy; The Report to the Judiciary, was published in 2008. When not recalled to the Federal Bench, Judge Sullivan is a partner in a Washington law firm.

Previous International DUBLIN Literary Award winners:

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)