1 Irish author, 6 novels in translation on the shortlist

Shortlist at a glance: 10 novels; 11 nationalities; 4 women; 6  men; 6 in translation; 1 Irish author


Tuesday 11th April 2017: 10 novels have been shortlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award, proudly sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The list includes The Green Road by Irish author Anne Enright, six novels in translation from Angola, Austria, Denmark/Norway, Mexico, Mozambique and Turkey, and novels from Nigeria, Vietnam and the USA.

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

The award was launched on 7th April 1995 and is now in its

22nd year.

The shortlisted titles are:

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

Recent previous winners of the award include:

Family Life by Akhil Sharma (2016), Harvest by Jim Crace (2015), The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (2014), City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (2013), Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor (2012), Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (2011), The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (2010), Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas (2009), De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (2008),  and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (2007)

Profiles of the 2017 Judging Panel and complete list of previous winners below.

Twitter: @DublinLitAward



For further information:


Literary Award Office, Email:

2017 Judging Panel

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE is an independent critic, broadcaster and editor and is currently Visiting Professor at Goshen College, Indiana. She is the editor of Safe House: Explorations in Creative Non-fiction (Cassava Republic, 2016) and Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara (Bloomsbury, 2014). The former Deputy Editor of Granta magazine, she sits on the boards of Art for Amnesty, the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Writers’ Centre Norwich. She is patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature and served as a judge for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Her journalism has appeared in the Independent, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Spectator and the Observer and she has been a regular contributor to the book pages of NPR in the USA.

Katy Derbyshire was born in London and has lived in Berlin for the past twenty years. She translates contemporary German writers, including previously Dublin Literary Award longlisted Simon Urban and Helene Hegemann along with Inka Parei, Clemens Meyer, Jan Brandt, Felicitas Hoppe and many others. She writes occasional criticism and essays in English and German, published by Lithub, The Quarterly Conversation, Music & Literature, New Books in German and Der Tagesspiegel. Katy co-hosts a monthly literary translation lab in Berlin and has taught translation in London, Leipzig, New York, New Delhi and Norwich.

Kapka Kassabova is a poet, novelist, and writer of travel and history. Her travel memoirs are Street Without a Name (2008) and Twelve Minutes of Love, a tango story (2011). Born and raised in Bulgaria, she moved with her family to New Zealand in the early 1990s, where she published her first fiction and poetry. She now lives in the Highlands of Scotland. She has written for the Guardian, Vogue, and 1843 magazine. Her latest book is Border: a journey to the edge of Europe (2017).

Professor Chris Morash became the inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin in 2014 and was recently appointed as the Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer of Trinity College Dublin.  He has written books on Irish theatre history, Irish media history and Irish famine literature.  Prior to his appointment to Trinity, Chris Morash worked in Maynooth University. He was the first chair of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (2009-2014), and has been a Member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2007.

Jaume Subirana was born and lives in Barcelona. He is a writer, critic and translator who has published both prose and poetry (he has won the most prestigious Catalan awards: Carles Riba in 1988 and recently the Gabriel Ferrater), and has also written and edited books on Barcelona and Catalan culture. He served as director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, and is a member of PEN Català. Associate Professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, he has been Visiting Professor at UBC, Brown University and Ca’ Foscari-Venezia. He regularly updates his blog Flux.

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 a Washington law firm.

Previous winners:

  • 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)

Twitter: @DublinLitAward