How far have you got on the Longlist?

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Award logoThe International Dublin Literary Award 2020 Shortlist announcement will take place on the 3rd September. The award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. There are 156 books eligible for the 2020 award, nominated by libraries in 119 cities and 40 countries worldwide; 50 titles are in translation, spanning 21 languages, and 51 books are first novels.

The International Dublin Literary Award and the International Literature Festival Dublin recently announced their new partnership, bringing together two esteemed Dublin City iniatives.

The 2020 international Judging Panel comprises Irish editor and columnist, Niall MacMonagle; Scottish author and editor Zoë Strachan; Yannick Garcia, a Catalan writer and translator based in Barcelona; Cathy Rentzenbrink, a Sunday Times top ten bestseller of the year writer; and Indian-born translator and champion of the novel, Shreela Ghosh. The non-voting Chairperson is Professor Chris Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Here are some of our favourites:

Blue Jewellery

book title'Blue jewellery' is private property. Not to be seen. Not to be talked about. It is worn like a bracelet around the wrists, on ribs, legs, arms. Blue jewellery is another name for the marks left on women's bodies, inflicted by the men around them. This novel tells the story of Filiz and Yunus. When Filiz meets Yunus, he is young and beautiful, and Filiz is proud that he wants her. Against her father's wishes, they marry when she is thirteen. Yunus is her entire universe, all encompassing, all powerful. Soon after the wedding, Filiz's dream of living in the West with her husband, of escaping their small village in Anatolia for freedom and autonomy, comes crashing down around her. Yunus, only a few years older than his bride, turns their marriage into a prison of dependency and violence. Trapped in her mother-in-law's house, Filiz is subjected to physical and mental abuse, forced to veil herself and treated as a house slave. When she becomes pregnant, Filiz seems to have reached her breaking point. But she endures. When Yunus moves his young family first to Istanbul and then to Austria, the life he had once promised her seems to be within reach.

Begotten Not Made

book titleBegotten Not Made is a fairy tale for the 21st century – where the mystery of blind faith is explored and the magic of belief is restored.Brother Scully met Sister Claire only once. It was back in 1970 – the night Dana won the Eurovision Song Contest. Every single morning since their first and only encounter, with a flicker of a light bulb, Sister Claire has sent a coded message of love to Brother Scully.This Christmas Eve morn, for the first time in almost fifty years, no light shines out from Sister Claire’s bedroom window. And so begins this tale of a very real, yet unrealised love.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

With Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead, Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By no means a conventional crime story, this existential thriller by `one of Europe's major humanist writers' (Guardian) offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice against marginalized people, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, belief in predestination - and caused a genuine political uproar in Tokarczuk's native Poland.

Convenience Store Woman

book titleKeiko is 36 years old. She's never had a boyfriend, and she's been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years. Keiko's family wishes she'd get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won't get married. But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she's not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store.

Elefant

What would you do if you woke up to see a living, breathing, tiny, glowing, pink elephant? If you’re anything like Schoch, who lives on the streets of Zürich and is decidedly down on his luck, you might well think it’s time to put away the bottle before your hallucinations get any stranger, and go back to sleep. But what if the tiny pink elephant is still there when you wake up?

Boy Swallows Universe

book titleBrisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way – not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary drug dealer. But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And he has to break into prison on Christmas Day, to save his mum. A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships.

All the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 156 titles has been published in a free newsletter, and all details are also on the newly revamped Award website at www.dublinliteraryaward.ie.

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