Five Irish novels are among 142 titles that have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 49 novels in translation with works by 37 American, 19 British, 9 Canadian, 9 Australian and 7 Italian authors. Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2015 Award was launched today by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, Patron of the Award, at a ceremony in The Dublin City Library & Archive.

The Irish titles are:

  • The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce, nominated by Galway County Library, Ireland.
  • The Guts by Roddy Doyle, nominated by Liverpool City Libraries, UK.
  • TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, nominated by Halifax Public Libraries, Canada; Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland; Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland; Liverpool City Libraries, UK; New Hampshire State Libraries, Concord, USA; The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, USA.
  • The Rising of Bella Casey by Mary Morrissy, nominated by Cork City Libraries and Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland.
  • The Thing About December by Donal Ryan, nominated by Limerick City Library, Ireland.

The Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 142 books eligible for the 2015 award were nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide; noting that ‘49 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages and 29 are first novels. Readers at home and abroad will find new books and new authors on the longlist, and they can pit themselves against the international panel of judges and pick their own favourite, before the Lord Mayor announces the twentieth winner on 17thJune next year’.

Lord Mayor, Christy Burke, commended the IMPAC DUBLIN Award for its promotion of excellence in world literature as well as for the opportunity to promote Irish writing internationally. ‘I am delighted to be Patron of this Award as it enters its twentieth year. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and cultural tourism is a vital part of the City’s economy’ he said. ‘Initiatives such as this Award, the Dublin Writer’s Festival and One City, One Book have consolidated Dublin’s position as a centre of literary excellence on the world stage.’

The 2015 Judging Panel comprises Irish novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2012 for The Cold Eye of Heaven; Valentine Cunningham (British) Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University; Daniel Hahn (British) award winning translator, writer and editor, Chair of the Society of Authors; Kate Pullinger (Canadian) winner of The Governor General’s Award for Fiction and Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University; Jordi Soler (Mexican/Spanish) author of books of poems, story collections, and ten novels translated into several languages and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in Spain and México. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan (USA).

Other novels nominated for the 2015 Award include The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, winner of the 2013 National Book Award.
Among the 49 translated authors are French author Andrei Makine (born in Russia), Ma Jian (Chinese), Elena Ferrante (Italian), Eugen Ruge (German) and Jon Kalman Stefansson (Icelandic). For the first time, translated titles comprise over one third of the longlist – 34.5%.
Two previous winners have also been nominated, 2011 winner Colum McCann and 1997 winner Javier Marias.

The libraries’ most popular book this year, and one of the most nominated books since the award began, is Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, chosen by 19 libraries in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the USA.

Note - The most nominated books since 1996 were The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon in 2005 (23 nominations), and Room by Emma Donoghue in 2012 (20 nominations).

Other books nominated by multiple libraries are Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Americanah by Chimamandra Ngozi Adichie and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. All four of the most popular books this year are by women. They are followed by And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and The Orenda by Joseph Boyden.

All of the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 142 titles is available on The shortlist will be made public on 15th April 2015 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 17th June.

For further information: Press Office, Dublin City Council, 00353 1 222 2106

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

Notes for Editors:

The International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. Founded in partnership with IMPAC, the Award is an initiative of Dublin City Council the municipal government of Dublin which now retains full ownership of the award. The Award aims to promote excellence in world literature and nominations are submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world. Designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010, Dublin’s literary heritage is a significant driver of cultural tourism for the City.

Previous winners:

  • 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)

2015 Judging Panel
Valentine Cunningham is a literary historian and critic. He is Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University and Emeritus Fellow in English Literature at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He reviews widely on literary topics and broadcasts frequently on BBC radio on both literary and musicology topics. He has lectured around the world and has been Visiting Professor of Literature in the USA, Canada, Australia and Germany. He has judged many literary prizes, including the Man Booker Prize (1992 and 1998) and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. He has published many books on Victorian and twentieth century poetry, prose, culture, politics and theory. His latest volumes are Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics (2011) and The Connell Guide to King Lear (2012).

Christine Dwyer Hickey, born in Dublin, is a novelist and short story writer. She is the author of eight books including The Lives of Women which will be published in May 2015. Her novel The Cold Eye of Heaven won the Irish Novel of the Year of the Year 2012. Last Train from Liguria was shortlisted for the Prix L’Européen de Littérature and her novel Tatty was chosen as one of the 50 Irish Books of the Decade as well as being nominated for the Orange Prize. Her first novel The Dancer was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year in 1995. Her first play Snow Angels was staged at the Project Theatre in Dublin in March 2014 and played to full houses and critical acclaim. Christine is a member of Aosdána.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with some forty books to his name. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. Forthcoming books include the new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature and translations of novels from Angola, Guatemala and Brazil. He is currently chair of the Society of Authors, and on the board of a number of organisations which deal with literature and free speech.

Kate Pullinger is a novelist and digital writer who grew up in British Columbia, Canada. Her 2009 novel The Mistress of Nothing won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction and it was long listed for both the Giller Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. Her new novel, Landing Gear was published in 2014. She has been at the forefront of literary digital innovation for more than a decade; her on-going web project Inanimate Alice and her 2014 digital war memorial Letter to an Unknown Soldier have gathered readers and writers around the world. She is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University.

Jordi Soler was born in 1963 in La Portuguesa, a community of Catalan exiles located in the jungle of Veracruz, Mexico. He currently lives in Barcelona and is a regular contributor to several newspapers and magazines in Spain and Mexico. Soler has published books of poems, story collections, and ten novels translated into several languages. Los rojos de ultramar (2004), La última hora del último día (2007) and La fiesta del oso (2009) are a trilogy of novels that the author devoted to his family who were forced to emigrate to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. The trilogy was published in a single volume entitled La guerra perdida, and was awarded with the Prix Littéraire des Jeunes Européens (2012).

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