Idaho wins the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award
American author Emily Ruskovich has won the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award for her novel Idaho. Set in the Idaho Pandandle it tells the sory of the impact of an shocking act of violence on a family. The winning novel was chosen from a total of 141 titles, nominated by libraries in 115 cities across 41 countries. Idaho was nominated by the public library in Brugge, Belgium.The Award is organised and sponsored by Dublin City Council and at €100,000 is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Emily Ruskovich is the fourth American author to win the prize in its 24-year history.Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House today.Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo Mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story and the Virginia Quarterly Review. A winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she now teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado, Denver. Idaho is her first novel. Speaking at the winner announcement, Lord Mayor & Patron of the remarked; ‘The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a great Dublin success and a great international success - and our thanks go to all who are involved in making the Award work – writers, translators, publishers, librarians, and the administrative staff of the City Council.’The 2019 judging panel, which includes Irish author Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, commented:‘At the heart of Emily Ruskovich’s haunting debut novel is the inexplicable. A young couple, Jenny and Wade, move from the prairies to the utter loneliness and unexpected isolation of the Northern Idaho mountains where they carelessly bought a piece of wooded land on a steep mountainside. As yet, they know nothing about the winter that will entrap them: masses of snow, no plow, no neighbours, the next settlement eight miles away. This is not an idyll. Years go by. They build a house with their own hands; two children are born – May and June. Then, all of a sudden, in a brutal flash, with no warning, their happiness and their love are destroyed forever.Ruskovich’s masterful achievement is to narrate with consummate skill the complex series of events covering a time-span of more than fifty years. Empathy and love stand next to cruelty and crime. Individual guilt, trauma and pain are looming as large as eventual forgiveness and the ability to live in half-knowledge. Ultimately, Idaho evolves into a masterpiece on the redeeming and regenerative potential of music, poetry, literature and art.’ The other judges were Ge Yan, Evie Wyld, Martin Middeke and Hans-Christian Oeser. The non-voting chair was Judge Eugene Sullivan.Copies of the winner, the shortlist and the full list of novels nominated for the 2019 award available to borrow from Dublin Public libraries at https://dcpla.ie/Idaho
Lemaitre's Camille wins the CWA International Dagger
'Camille' by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne, published by Quercus, March 2015) was last night announced as the winner of the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) International Dagger. For my part I am delighted with the selection, even though I haven't yet read this, the third in the trilogy starring Commandant Camille Verhoeven (what an admission!). The first two titles I can highly recommend, and if 'Camille' is anything like as good then I have no hesitation in saying that the selection is well justified. Let me quickly add that I presently await the arrival of my library copy; I expect it any day now.The International category of the CWA Awards (there are several categories needless to say) is one I have particular interest in as I have a keen interest in crime/thriller writers in translation and they very much dominate my reading. This International award is for crime novels (including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction) not originally written in English but translated for UK publication during the Judging period.This is Lemaitre's second time winning the Award, now in its 10th year. His novel 'Alex' shared the 2013 award with 'The Ghost Riders of Ordebec' an equally wonderful read by that other French great, Fred Vargas. Lemaitre's novel 'Irène' was shortlisted in 2014, losing out to the eventual winner 'The Siege' by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Between them, Lemaitre and Vargas have had six of the eleven winners of the Award (2013 having joint winners), so French dominance looks set to remain unchallenged for some time yet. My inkling before the announcement was that 'Camille' would get the nod, despite the shortlist including other strong contenders, one being 'Cobra' by South Africa's Deon Meyer, another of my favourite authors.'Irène' is the first novel in a trilogy by Lemaitre, yet it did not appear in translation until after 'Alex', its sequel. Should you not yet have read any in the trilogy I would strongly recommend that you read them in order as revelations in the second, should you take them out of order, can spoil somewhat your reading of the first. Lemaitre is an excellent writer, and he is equally strong when it comes to plot development, characterization and atmosphere. There is suspense, there is tension, plus there are dark and unsettling moments. In this regard a word of caution: his portrayal of violence is not for the meek, and may put off some. So while you would be forgiven for moving quickly on at some points, you should not let it detract from your pursuit of otherwise top quality crime writing.You can read too my reviews of Irène (review) and Alex (review) in previous posts here on the library blog.Read also::"CAMILLE is an intense, complex and very intelligent book." Eurocrime blog (contains spoilers of the previous books).Camille review: Another winner from Pierre LeMaitre, a French master (Sydney Morning Herald)The winner announcement on the CWA website.