2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award Longlist announced


7 Irish novels are among 160 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 53 novels in translation with works by 44 American, 25 British, 10 Canadian, 10 Australian, 6 German and 3 South African authors.

Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2016 Award was launched today [9th November] by An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh, Patron of the Award, who commented “Tá an-áthas orm bheith libh inniu chun an duais litríochta cháiliúil seo a sheoladh. The Award now in its 21st year, has made a fantastic contribution to the literary life of Dublin and brings significant benefits to the City. It’s right that, as the Award is now entirely a City initiative, sponsored by the City Council; it should be called the International DUBLIN Literary Award”.

The International DUBLIN Literary Award promotes Dublin internationally as a literary destination, as last year’s winner Jim Crace remarked: “Winning the Award was a surprise and a delight. What didn’t surprise me was the liveliness and the warmth… It’s what I have learned to expect from Dubliners. I was especially impressed that writing and reading never left the spotlight.”

The Irish titles nominated for 2016 are:  

  • The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
  • Academy Street by Mary Costello
  • The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
  • Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
  • The Thrill of it All by Joseph O’Connor
  • Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín
  • The Diary of Mary Travers by Eibhear Walshe

The International DUBLIN Literary Award (formerly known as the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 160 books eligible for the 2016 award were nominated by libraries in 118 cities and 44 countries worldwide; noting that 53 are titles in translation, spanning 19 languages and 49 are first novels.

Speaking of the global interest in the Award, Margaret Hayes, City Librarian remarked “reading groups worldwide each year anticipate the longlist and later the shortlist with excitement and interest. This anticipation will reach fever pitch when The Lord Mayor announces the twenty-first winner on 9th June 2016.  From previous experience we know that the 21st winning title will be top of the library readers list for 2016 at home and abroad bringing readers together in an unparalleled international book club”.

The 2016 Judging Panel comprises Irish writer Carlo Gébler; Ian Sansom, British novelist, critic and academic; Iglika Vassileva, Bulgarian translator; Australian novelist, Meaghan Delahunt and Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villalobos. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan (USA).

Other novels nominated for the 2016 Award include A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King, winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Fiction

Among the 53 translated authors are German author Jenny Erpenbeck, winner of the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Javier Cercas (Spanish), Helle Helle (Danish), and Haruki Murakami (Japanese). For the second time, translated titles comprise one third of the longlist – 33%.

Two previous winners have also been nominated, 2006 winner Colm Tóibín and 2007 winner Per Petterson.

The book that received most nominations this year is Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See, chosen by 14 libraries in Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands 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 160 titles is available on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie.  The shortlist will be published on 12thApril 2016 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 9th June.

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a Dublin City Council initiative.


Jason Clarke Photography will syndicate photos to picturedesks.

For further information contact:

https://twitter.com/DubCityCouncil       www.facebook.com/DublinCityCouncil

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 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 Irish titles were nominated by:

  • The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry, nominated by Redbridge Libraries, London, UK.
  • Academy Street by Mary Costello, nominated by Dublin City Public Libraries, Galway County Library, Limerick City & County Libraries, Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland and by Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand.
  • The Undertaking by Audrey Magee, nominated by Katona József Library of Bács-Kiskun County, Kecskemét, Hungary.
  • Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent, nominated by Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland.
  • The Thrill of it All by Joseph O’Connor, nominated by Tampere City Library, Finland
  • Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín, nominated by Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand, M. Rudomino State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia, Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland, Milwaukee Public Library and Tulsa City & County Library, USA
  • The Diary of Mary Travers by Eibhear Walshe nominated by Cork City Libraries, Ireland

2016 Judging Panel

Meaghan Delahunt was born in Melbourne and lives in Edinburgh.  She is the author of novels In the Blue House, The Red Book and To the Island.  Her latest book is  Greta Garbo's Feet & Other Stories (2015). Awards for her work include the Flamingo/HQ Australian Short Story Prize (1997), a regional Commonwealth Prize, a Saltire Book Award and a nomination for the Orange Prize.  She teaches Creative Writing part-time at the University of Stirling and is an Arts & Culture editor for www.bellacaledonia.com

Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954.  He lives outside Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. He is the author of several novels including A Good Day for A Dog and The Dead Eight (shortlisted for the Kerry Irish Fiction Prize), the short story collection W.9. & Other Lives, works of non-fiction including the narrative history, The Siege of Derry and the memoir The Projectionist, The Story of Ernest Gébler.  He has also written novels for children as well as plays for radio and the stage, including 10 Rounds, which was short-listed for the Ewart-Biggs Prize.  He is a member of Aosdána.

Ian Sansom is a novelist, critic and academic. He is the author of 13 works of fiction and non-fiction, including The Truth About Babies, Ring Road and the Mobile Library series of novels. His most recent book is Death in Devon (HarperCollins, 2015), book no.3 in his 44-book County Guides series of novels. He writes for The Guardian, The London Review of Books, The New Statesman and The Spectator. He is currently a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

Iglika Vassileva is the acclaimed translator of James Joyce’s Ulysses, of almost all novels by Virginia Woolf, the prose of Walt Whitman, Nabokov and many other distinguished writers. Her translations of Ulysses, The Waves and To the Lighthouse have been met with high acclaim by literary critics and reading public alike. She is well known for her penchant for Irish literature. Among her translation successes here are authors like John Banville, John McGahern, Mary Lavin and many more.The recipient of numerous prizes, Iglika Vassileva was awarded four times the Prize of the Union of Bulgarian Translators, twice the Prize of the Ministry of Culture, twice the “Hristo G. Danov” National Prize for Literary Translation and the Sofia City Prize for Achievements in the field of Literature. She teaches literary translation at Sofia University.

Juan Pablo Villalobos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973. He's the author of Down the Rabbit Hole (shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award), Quesadillas and I'll Sell You a Dog (to be published in English in 2016). His novels have been translated into fifteen languages. He writes for several publications, including Granta, Letras Libres, Gatopardo and English Pen's Blog, and translates Brazilian literature into Spanish. He lived in Barcelona for several years, then moved to Brazil, and is now back in Spain. He is married with two Mexican-Brazilian-Catalan children.

Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, non-voting chair of the judging panel, is a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience from 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 the Washington, D.C. law firm of Pepper Hamilton, LLP.

Previous winners:

  • 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)