Dublin Literary Award Winner 2022: Alice Zeniter
Published on 20th May 2022
Dublin City Council announces The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter, translated by Frank Wynne as winner of the 2022 DUBLIN Literary Award.
French author Alice Zeniter and Irish translator Frank Wynne have been announced today as winners of the 2022 DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council, for the novel The Art of Losing (published by Picador, Pan MacMillan). The Award is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. Author Alice Zeniter receives €75,000 and Frank Wynne, as translator, receives €25,000. Frank was a previous winner in 2002, as translator of Atomised by Michel Houellebecq. The Art of Losing is the 10th novel in translation to win the Dublin Literary Prize.
The winning title was announced today at a special event, at International Literature Festival Dublin, which runs until 29th May. Lord Mayor and Patron of the Award, Alison Gilliland made the announcement and Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, presented the prizes to Alice and Frank at the International Literature Festival Dublin Literary Village in Merrion Square Park.
Nominated by Bibliothèque publique d'information, in the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the winning novel was chosen from a shortlist of six novels by writers from Ireland, Nigeria, New Zealand, France and Canada. The longlist of 79 titles was nominated by 94 libraries from 40 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, the US, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
Accepting her award, winner Alice Zeniter said: "When I was writing the Art of Losing, I was almost certain that it was a niche novel. This book's life, even five years after its release, keeps surprising me. I am really happy and thrilled that the Dublin Literary Award shows me today that this story can be shared with readers from different countries, readers who grew up outside the French post-colonial Empire. Readers that, maybe, had never thought about Algeria before opening the book. How crazy is that?"
Translator Frank Wynne: “In a very real sense, I owe my career as a literary translator to the Dublin Literary Award, a prize I cherish because it makes no distinction between English and translated fiction, treating authors and translators as co-weavers of the endless braid of literature.”
Lord Mayor and Patron of the Award, Alison Gilliland remarked: “With its themes of colonisation and immigration, The Art of Losing, which follows three generations of an Algerian family from the 1950s to the present day, highlights how literature can increase our understanding of the world. I’d like to congratulate Alice Zeniter and Frank Wynne and thank all who are involved in the award – writers, translators, librarians, publishers and the administrative staff of Dublin City Council.”
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Alice Zeniter and Frank Wynne appeared at ILFDublin, for an in-depth conversation about the novel, with Michael Cronin, Professor of French and Director of the Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation in Trinity College Dublin, Monday 23rd May. Video to follow...
Copies of the winning title are available to borrow from Dublin City Libraries and from public libraries throughout Ireland. Readers can also borrow the winning novel on BorrowBox: in eBook format. The French version will also be available to borrow from Dublin City Libraries. Further details about the Award and the winning novel are available on the Award website.
The 2022 Judging Panel, which is led by Professor Chris Morash of Trinity College Dublin, and includes Emmanuel Dandaura, Sinéad Moriarty, Clíona Ní Riordáin, Alvin Pang and Victoria White, commented: “The Art of losing offers insights at every scale, from the national and the individual, about the fluid nature of identity; how our relations to place and to each other situate and perhaps free us.”
Alice Zeniter is a French novelist, translator, scriptwriter and director. Her novel Take This Man was published in English by Europa Editions in 2011. Zeniter has won many awards for her work in France, including the Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée, the Prix Renaudot des Lycéens and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, which was awarded to The Art of Losing. She lives in Brittany.
Frank Wynne is an Irish translator who has translated and published comics and graphic novels and began translating literature in the late 1990s. He has translated works by, among others, Michel Houellebecq, Frédéric Beigbeder and Ahmadou Kourouma, and has won a number of awards, including the DUBLIN Literary Award 2002, Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Premio Valle Inclán.