The International DUBLIN Literary Award 2021 Shortlist
Published on 25th March 2021
Six novels have been shortlisted for the 2021 International Dublin Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council. The shortlist announced today includes Apeirogon by Irish author Colum McCann. Celebrating 26 years, this award is the world's most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English, worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator receives €25,000. Distinctive among literary prizes, nominations are chosen by librarians and readers from a network of libraries around the world.
The 2021 Award winner will be chosen from a diverse and international shortlist which includes a novel in translation, an English language debut and a first-time novelist. The Shortlist features three women and three men who come from Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the USA.
The 26th winner of the Dublin Literary Award will be announced by its Patron, Lord Mayor Hazel Chu on Thursday 20th May, as part of the opening day programme of International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin), which is also funded by Dublin City Council. Following their partnership with ILFDublin in August 2020, the DUBLIN Literary Award has moved the winner announcement permanently to May, to coincide with the festival.
The novels on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA, and the authors come from Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the USA.
The shortlisted titles are:
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
In the lead up to the winner announcement, and to enhance the reading experience of the Shortlist, the DUBLIN Literary Award website and social media channels will share six short films featuring well-known Irish actors performing short excerpts from the shortlisted novels.
In association with their partner, International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin), a special Shortlist podcast series has been commissioned which will be hosted by Maeve Higgins, bestselling Irish writer, comedian, podcaster and contributing writer for The New York Times, and Jessica Traynor, Irish writer, dramaturg and creative writing teacher. Maeve Higgins and Jessica Traynor will take listeners inside the shortlisted novels and speak exclusively to the authors and translator in contention for the award.
During Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions, readers can borrow most of the shortlisted titles as eBooks and eAudiobooks on the free Borrowbox app, available to all public library users.
All the novels nominated for the Award, including the shortlisted books, will be available for readers to borrow from Dublin City Libraries and from public libraries around Ireland when Libraries reopen.
The shortlist can be viewed on the Award website.
Patron of the Award, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, praised the Award for breaking down barriers through literature by inviting readers around the world to read books translated from different languages, and cultures:
‘I am so excited about our Literary Award again this year. Literature time and again has one objective, and that is to explore the human condition, teaching us something new about others, and ourselves. These are powerful and timely stories set in both familiar and unfamiliar countries and cultures. I urge everyone to read as many of these thought-provoking books as you can. Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and 20th May’
The international panel of judges who will select the winner, features Jan Carson, a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast; David James Karashima, an author, translator, and associate professor of creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo; Lebanese-born, Dr Rita Sakr who lectures in Postcolonial and Global Literatures at Maynooth University; Dr Martín Veiga, a Cork-based Galician poet, translator, and academic who lectures in Hispanic Studies at University College Cork, and Enda Wyley, an Irish poet, author, and teacher who has published six collections of poetry.
The non-voting Chairperson is Professor Chris Morash, the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin.