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Dublin Literary Award is world’s most valuable and this years shortlist has just been announced


Ten novels have been shortlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award,sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries.

First launched in 1995, the prize seeks submissions from more than 400 library networks in 177 countries to find the finest book written in or translated into English.

The International Dublin Literary Award is worth €100,000 to the winner making it the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English.

If the winning book is originally written in a language other than English, the prize is divided between the author and translator, with the former receiving €75,000 and the latter the remaining €25,000.

Irish writer Anne Enright, the inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction, is the only domestic writer to make the 2017 shortlist.

Her novel The Green Road, which won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and was nominated for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, tells the story of an Irish family over a period of 25 years.

A previous Booker Prize-winner, Enright faces stiff competition from a previous winner of the International Dublin Literary Award (Orhan Pamuk), as well as American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer.

The shortlisted titles are:

  1. A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angolan) Translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. Published by Harvill Secker & Archipelago Books.
  2. Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Mozambican) Translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux & Harvill Secker.
  3. The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish ) Published by Jonathan Cape & W.W. Norton.
  4. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Danish/Norwegian) Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken. Published by Atlantic Books & W.W. Norton.
  5. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican) Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Christina MacSweeney. Published by Coffee House Press & Granta Books.
  6. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American) First novel. Published by Grove/Atlantic & Corsair.
  7. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian-American) Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & Granta Books.
  8. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish) Translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap. Published by Faber & Faber.
  9. A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austrian) Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins. Published by Picador.
  10. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (American) Published by Doubleday & Picador

The titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and the USA’, said Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, 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 2017 shortlist by our laureate for Irish Fiction, Anne Enright.’

‘The 2017 winner will be chosen from this intriguing international shortlist which includes six novels in translation from Danish, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. The novels come from Angola, Austria, Denmark/Norway, Ireland, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Turkey, Vietnam and the USA’, said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian.

‘Issues of conflict and communication are set against a myriad of cultural and family settings and in contemporary and historic time periods. For readers, these stories add new and absorbing  characters to  our circle of international literary  acquaintances.’

One of the shortlisted authors is a previous winner. Orhan Pamuk won the prize in 2003 for his novel, My Name is Red, translated from the Turkish by Erdag M. Göknar.

The five member international judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner which will be announced by Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, Patron of the Award, on Wednesday 21st 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 21st June, when I announce the winner.

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 award promotes Dublin internationally as a literary destination, as Juan Pablo Villalobos (2016 judging panel) remarked “Dublin is a very literary city and for me as a Mexican writer I was very, very happy to be invited to be a judge because it’s the city of Samuel Beckett, one of my literary heroes, and of James Joyce of course. Obviously world wide Dublin is known as a literary city and I think that this prize is becoming every year more and more important.”

All the nominated novels can be viewed on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie.