Brought to you by Dublin City Libraries and axis Ballymun, this multi-platform project is a celebration and a recognition of the city libraries and throughout the pandemic, we re-discovered the power of literature, music, art and culture as sources of entertainment and wellbeing.
The International DUBLIN Literary Award 2020 Shortlist
Ten novels have been shortlisted for the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council. The shortlist announced today includes Milkman by Irish author Anna Burns, and three novels in translation. Celebrating 25 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.The writers, eight of whom are female, come from Canada, France, India, Iran, Ireland, Poland, the UK and the USA.The six member international judging panel, chaired by Prof. Chris Morash, will select one winner on Thursday 22nd October during the International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin) reimagined 2020 festival.Shortlisted Titles1.The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (British). Published by Hamish Hamilton Ltd.2.Milkman by Anna Burns (Irish). Published by Faber & Faber and Graywolf Press.3.Disoriental by Négar Djavadi (Iranian-French). Translated from the French by Tina Kover. Published by Europa Editions.4.Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canadian). Published by Serpents Tail Ltd., HarperCollins Canada and Alfred A. Knopf.5.An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (American). Published by Algonquin Books.6.History of Violence by Édouard Louis (French). Translated from the French by Lorin Stein. Published by Harvill Secker.7.The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (American). Published by Virago Press Ltd.8.There There by Tommy Orange (Native American). Published by Harvill Secker, Alfred A. Knopf and McClelland & Stewart Inc.9.All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy (Indian). Published by MacLehose Press and Atria Books.10. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (Polish). Translated by from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.Borrow the BooksAll the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. Readers can also borrow most of the shortlisted titles on BorrowBox - eBooks and eAudiobooks for limited periods by way of digital loans. 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.
2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award Longlist Announced
Eight novels from Ireland are among 156 books nominated by libraries around the world for the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award. With the winner receiving €100,000, the Award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 50 novels in translation with works nominated by libraries from 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2020 Award was launched today by Cllr. Mary Fitzpatrick, representing Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe, Patron of the Award. Cllr. Fitzpatrick commended the Award for its promotion of excellence in world literature and the opportunity it provides to promote Irish writing internationally;“I am very pleased that Dublin City Council continues to support this significant international award. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and the Council is committed to further developing the City’s worldwide reputation as a literary destination, a key part of our cultural tourism offering.”The Irish titles nominated for the 2020 Award are: A Ladder to the Sky by John BoyneMilkman by Anna BurnsThe Woman in the Woods by John ConnollyBegotten Not Made by Cónal CreedonOrchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn HughesSkin Deep by Liz NugentTravelling in a Strange Land by David ParkNormal People by Sally Rooney The International DUBLIN Literary Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Mairead Owens, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 156 books eligible for the 2020 award were nominated by libraries in 119 cities and 40 countries worldwide; noting that 50 are titles in translation, spanning 21 languages and 51 books are first novels.Speaking of the global interest in the Award, the City Librarian Mairead Owens remarked;“This great prize affirms Dublin’s commitment to international writers and translators, to literature and creativity. Through this award Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, brings the worldwide community of readers together to read the works of contemporary writers from all corners of the world.”Most Nominated BooksThe book that received most nominations for 2020 is There There by Tommy Orange, chosen by 13 libraries in Canada, Greece, Ireland, and the USA . The second-most nominated book is Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, chosen by 11 libraries in Canada, England, Jamaica, and USA. Normal People by Sally Rooney was nominated by libraries in Germany, New Zealand and Ireland.Katona József Library of Bács-Kiskun County, Hungary nominated Orchid and the Wasp by Irish author Caoilinn Hughes noting: “The book is the girl’s coming of age story across different places and in circumstances of economic collapse and family dynamics. Themes and messages of morality, mental health, class, religion and contemporary politics are written in a modern and unique style.” Other novels nominated for the 2020 Award include Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018 and who also won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flight, and The Great Fall by Peter Handke, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2019. Novels in TranslationAmong the 50 translated books are novels originally published in Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Slovene and Spanish.Translated authors include Peter Handke, Olga Tokarczuk, Benyamin, Chico Buarque, Paolo Cognetti, Adélaide de Clermont-Tonnerre, Julián Fuks, and Cristina Rivera Garza. Judging PanelThe 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. Borrow the Books!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. What's Next?The shortlist will be published on 2nd April 2020, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin will announce the winner on 10th June 2020.
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
The shortlist for 2019's International Dublin Literary award has just been announced and it includes two Irish authors! The award is for novels written in English or translated to English. As well as the entries form Ireland this year's shortlist of ten includes books from France, Pakistan, the UK and the USA.The International DUBLIN Literary Award is proudly sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The award is worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator received €25,000. The two Irish novels are Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty. The complete list of shortlisted titles are:Compass by Mathias Énard (French) Translated from French by Charlotte Mandell. Nominated by Paris, France and Kecskemét, Hungary.Borrow a copy from the library History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (American). Nominated by Zurich, Switzerland and Stamford, USA.Borrow a copy from the library Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistani / British). Nominated by Bridgetown, Barbados; Brussels, Belgium; Halifax and Toronto, Canada; Dusseldorf, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, San Diego and Pittsburgh, USA.Borrow a copy from the library | Borrow an ebook Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty (Northern Ireland). Nominated by Newcastle and London, UK; Galway, Ireland; Bern, Switzerland; Milwaukee and San Diego, USA.Borrow a copy from the library | Borrow an ebook Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (British). Nominated by Brussels, Belgium; Sydney and Winnipeg, Canada; Nottingham, UK; Limerick, Ireland and Bergen, Norway.Borrow a copy from the library | Borrow an ebook Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Irish). Nominated by Liverpool, Dublin and Stockholm, Sweden.Borrow a copy from the library | Borrow an ebook Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (American). Nominated by Brugges, Belgium.Borrow a copy from the library Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (American). Nominated by Prague, Czech Republic; Reykjavík, Iceland; Barcelona, Spain; Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Denver, Concord and Iowa City, USA.Borrow a copy from the library | Borrow an ebook A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert (British). Nominated by Bergen, Norway.Borrow a copy from the library Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistani / British). Nominated by Philadelphia, Richmond and Columbia, USA.Borrow a copy from the library Speaking about the award Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Patron of the Award, Nial Ring said "The egalitarian way in which books are long listed, through public libraries worldwide, is to be commended in a world where sales figures can dominate the literary conversation so often. The beauty of this award is that it reaches out to readers and authors worldwide, while also celebrating excellence in contemporary Irish literature represented on the 2019 shortlist by Sally Rooney and Bernard MacLaverty."The titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA said Mairead Owens, Dublin City Librarian. The novels come from France, Ireland, Pakistan, the UK and the USA and it is from this diverse list that the eventual winner will be chosen. Memorable characters tell stories of identity and displacement, violence and war, family, relationships and loss, set in both familiar and unfamiliar countries and cultures. ‘The five member international judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner, which will be announced by the Lord Mayor, Patron of the Award, on Wednesday 12th June.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, launched today (27th February) the programme for the 2019 Dublin: One City One Book which this year features The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien. The Country Girls Trilogy joins a long list of illustrious titles as this year’s featured book in the Dublin: One City One Book Festival. Dublin One City One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year.The Country Girls Trilogy, published by Faber & Faber, is introduced by Eimear McBride and includes The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in Their Married Bliss, which changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers. The passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century.Speaking at the launch in Dublin’s Mansion House, the Lord Mayor remarked:“Edna O’Brien is one of Ireland’s most talented, treasured and most read authors, so I am very proud that our capital city is honouring her talent and legacy by selecting her much acclaimed work ‘The Country Girls Trilogy’ as the ‘Dublin One City One Book’ choice this year. Dublin City Council’s initiative is a creative and inclusive way to get all our citizens reading. With copies of The Country Girls Trilogy available to borrow for free throughout our public library network, it just remains for the people of Dublin to embrace and enjoy this great book which I know they will.”The month-long festival will feature dramatised readings, a new Dublin City Libraries exhibition banned books titled Evil Literature, talks on censorship, women’s roles and Irish society in 1950s and ‘60s, coming of age novels, music performances, film screenings, documentaries, workshops and seminars. The four public library services in the Dublin area will be hosting events as well as organisations such as Irish Writers Centre, The New Theatre, IFI, Trinity College, UCD and National Library.Edna O’Brien said:"I worked in Dublin as an apprentice pharmacist from 1948 to 1952, so it's where I first encountered literature and set out on the very secret and profane matter of writing The Country Girls Trilogy.""I never dreamed the Trilogy would last so long and make it to this winning post. I am delighted and hope for new readers who won’t have to hide it under the bedcovers as they did in the sixties and onwards..... Dublin has given me longevity.” The flagship event of this year’s festival is An Evening With Edna, an evening of music, readings and discussion in The Round Room, Mansion House on Wednesday 24th April. Edna O’Brien will be interviewed about her enormous contribution to world literature by writer Colum McCann. Singer Moya Brennan and harpist Cormac de Barra will play some of her favourite music and selected excerpts from The Country Girls Trilogy will be read by actor Seána Kerslake, star of the new movie The Hole in the Ground. This event is free but booking is essential at www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/programme Dublin’s acting City Librarian, Brendan Teeling invited Dubliners to share in the City’s celebration of the books, saying:“We work hard every year to choose a book that will capture the imagination of the people of Dublin, of all ages and walks of life. Exquisitely written, moving, humorous, full of compelling characters, and still as relevant as when it was written in the early 1960s, I know that The Country Girls Trilogy will prove a rewarding experience for all who engage with Dublin One City One Book 2019. In Edna O’Brien’s home county of Clare, book clubs affiliated with Clare County Libraries will be reading the book during April and hosting their own event to honour Edna O’Brien. RTÉ Radio One’s The Book on One will feature The Country Girls during the month of April. A new adaptation by Edna O’Brien of The Country Girls runs at the Abbey Theatre from 23rd February to 6th April before going on a national tour. Faber & Faber have produced a special edition of the trilogy for the Festival (Photo Below), and Lee Brackstone, O’Brien’s editor at Faber & Faber, remarked:‘In 1960 Edna O’Brien detonated a literary bomb, the reverberations of which continue to work their way through the culture and the Irish diaspora. The Country Girls is one of the beacons of radical 20th century literature.’Printed programme of events can be picked up in all our Dublin City Public Library Branches and bookshops across Dublin. The Country Girls Trilogy is available to borrow from libraries, can be reserved online, downloaded as an eBook from the library’s free Borrowbox app, and buy in bookshops. It is available in audio book format and has been produced in Braille by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.There are a whole host of events to mark the One City One Book festival, highlights of the programme include;An Evening With Edna. The Round Room, Mansion House. Wednesday 24th AprilEdna O’Brien will be interviewed about her enormous contribution to world literature by writer Colum McCann. Singer Moya Brennan and harpist Cormac de Barra will play some of her favourite music and selected excerpts from the Country Girls will be read by Seána Kerslake at this very special event. This event is free but booking is essential at www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/programmeEvil Literature: Banned Books Exhibition. Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse St, Dublin 2. From 3rd April to 31st May 2019. Launch and Event Wednesday 3rd April.This exhibition of banned books is based on the collections of Dublin City Reading Room and Dublin City Archives. Following the official launch on 3rd April there will be a discussion on the history of book censorship in Ireland with Dr Margaret Kelleher (UCD), Tom Quinlan, Keeper of the National Archives, and historian Donal Fallon. Chaired by Madeleine Keane, Sunday Independent Literary Editor.Free. Booking on EventBrite for talk.Coming of Age Novels. Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse St. Thursday 11th April.Join authors Catherine Dunne and Alan McMonagle to discuss The Country Girls Trilogy and why coming of age stories are so powerfully resonant for readers. Chaired by Michael G. Cronin, lecturer in English at Maynooth University.Free. Booking on Eventbrite.ieGirls in Their Married Bliss on Stage. The New Theatre, Temple Bar. 24th to 27th April.A selection of excerpts from the final book in Edna O’Brien’s acclaimed trilogy. Romantic Baba and pragmatic Baba, now both married, experience the trials and troubles of love and passion against the drop of 1960s London.Box Office: www.thenewtheatre.com Tickets €8/€6Irish Writers Centre Workshops April 13th and 18th.The Irish Writers Centre is playing homage to The Country Girls Trilogy and 1950s Ireland with bespoke offerings arising from themes in the books. Workshops will cover such topics as: researching social history for authentic writing, developing a character over time and the tricky task of writing sensual stories with the uncompromising flair of Edna O’Brien. Plus a panel discussion focussing on class and urban/rural divides in Irish society. Featuring acclaimed Irish writers including Catherine Dunne and Dermot Bolger.Free. Booking at www.irishwriterscentre.ieThe Country Girls at the Abbey Theatre. 23rd February to 6th April.Edna O’Brien revisits her era-defining debut novel in a new stage adaptation of The Country Girls at the Abbey Theatre. Directed by Graham McLaren. After the Dublin run, The Country Girls will go on a national tour.www.abbeytheatre.ie or Box Office 01-8787222Full Programme can be viewed here and event details on www.dublinonecityonebook.ieAboutThe BookWhen The Country Girls, Edna O’Brien’s first novel, appeared in 1960, it predated and anticipated the feminist revolution. It stood out and stood alone, upturning every category. There was little to compare with it. The Country Girls grew over time to what we now know as The Country Girls Trilogy, encompassing the title volume, a second novel Girl with Green Eyes, published in 1962, and Girls in Their Married Bliss, published in 1964. It is given to few to write their most important works early on. Quite simply, The Country Girls is a twentieth-century literary masterpiece which anticipates and puts into effect a feminist revolution all of its own. It tells the story of two young girls from Country Clare, Cait Brady and Baba Brennan, and tracks them from childhood through the vicissitudes of adolescence, marriage, emigration to Dublin and then to London and the terrible reckonings of adult life. Cait, the timid romanticist, who unfailingly falls for the wrong kind of man and suffers accordingly, is contrasted with Baba who is more hard-nosed, cynical, and pragmatic. The Country Girls Trilogy is outstanding because of its stylistic variation and the uncanny accuracy of its vision: each of the novels is tonally quite different but each achieves the same level of precision and insight into the social and emotional conditions of lives in 1950s rural Ireland and in London in the 1960s.The AuthorEdna O’Brien’s first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960. Since then, she has published prolifically across numerous genres. Her works includes 18 novels, 9 collections of short stories, 4 plays, biographies of James Joyce and Byron, a cultural history of Ireland, a memoir, and a volume of poetry. Edna O’Brien would be revered if she had written nothing other than The Country Girls Trilogy. However, she has continued to produce distinctive and engaging novels and stories that particularly follow the course of women’s lives and capture the emotional fabric of their worlds with unfailing accuracy and insight. Edna O’Brien has changed the fabric of the Irish novel by widening its circumference in enduring ways. She has used her breath-taking inventiveness, creative audacity, distinctive vision, and unsurpassed stylistic precision to give voice to female experience and sexuality and to bring a myriad of feminist themes into the ambit of the novel. Her fiction is above all to be relished for its truth, its wit, its emotional scale and depth, and the incisiveness of its style. To read Edna O’Brien is to make the acquaintance of a writer with a drive to represent the modern world in all of its uncomfortable and unlovely but eminently human aspects and of an artist besotted with the English language which she deploys with fastidious care. Edna O’Brien is the recipient of many awards, including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Arts Gold Medal, the Frank O’Connor Prize and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Born and raised in the west of Ireland, she has lived in London for many years. Dublin One City One BookPrevious books featured are: At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’ Brien (2006); A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry (2007); Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (2008); Dracula by Bram Stoker (2009); The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde (2010; Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor (2011); Dubliners by James Joyce (2012); Strumpet City by James Plunkett (2013); If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth (2014); The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle (2015); Fallen by Lia Mills (2016); Echoland by Joe Joyce (2017) and The Long Gaze Back, An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson (2018).
2018 International Dublin Literary Award longlist announced
7 Irish novels are among 150 titles that have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 48 novels in translation with works by authors from 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2018 Award was launched today, 6 November by Ardmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha, Patron of the Award, who commended the Award for its promotion of excellence in world literature as well as for the opportunity to promote Irish writing internationally. ‘Dublin – a UNESCO City of Literature - is renowned throughout the world as a city of writers. There’s no doubt that our rich literary and cultural life makes Dublin a great destination for tourists, for students, and for overseas businesses. It also makes for a better quality of life for all of us who live and work in our capital. Is cathair litríochta í Baile Átha Cliath’ he said.Chris Morash, member of the 2017 judging panel and Vice Provost of Trinity College said, ‘Dublin is a city that has been inscribed in literature in a way that few other cities have, and I think for us to make that a living thing, we need to engage with the new work that is being published every year.’ The Irish titles nominated for 2018 are:Days Without End by Sebastian BarryThe Wonder by Emma DonoghueThe Years That Followed by Catherine DunneThe Lesser Bohemians by Eimear MacBrideSolar Bones by Mike McCormackLying in Wait by Liz NugentAll We Shall Know by Donal RyanThe International DUBLIN Literary Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 150 books eligible for the 2018 award were nominated by libraries in 111 cities and 37 countries worldwide; noting that 48 are titles in translation, spanning 18 languages and 25 are first novels.Other novels nominated for the 2018 Award include Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Fiction, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire, finalist for the 2017 Miles Franklin Award.Among the 48 translated books are novels originally published in Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Serbian and Slovene. Translated authors include Han Kang, Roy Jacobsen, Herman Koch, Robert Seethaler, Amos Oz and previous winners, Javier Marías and Juan Gabriel Vásquez. For the first year, translated titles comprise almost exactly one third of the longlist – 32%!The book that received most nominations this year is Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, chosen by 15 libraries in Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Sweden and the USA.All of the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 150 titles is available on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie. The shortlist will be published in April 2018 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 13th June 2018.The 2018 Judging Panel comprises Vona Groarke, Irish poet and Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester; Xiaolu Guo, Chinese British novelist, essayist and filmmaker; Nicky Harman, translator and co-Chair of the Translators Association; Dr. Mpalive Msiska, author and Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and Courttia Newland, novelist and associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan.The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a Dublin City Council initiative.
A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa wins 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award
Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa has won the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award for his novel A General Theory of Oblivion, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. 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.Image: José Eduardo Agualusa. Credit: Rosa CunhaUniquely, 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.Check our catalogue for A General Theory of OblivionJosé Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1960, and is one of the leading literary voices in Angola and the Portuguese-speaking world. His novel Creole was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, and The Book of Chameleons won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. Agualusa lives between Portugal, Angola and Brazil.The winning novel was chosen from a total of 147 titles, nominated by libraries in 110 cities in 40 countries. José Eduardo Agualusa is the second African author to win the prize in its 22 year history. José Eduardo Agualusa received a cheque for €75,000. Daniel Hahn, translator of A General Theory of Oblivion, received a cheque for €25,000.‘We in Dublin City Council are committed to playing a very active role in making Dublin’s rich literary heritage a living and lively part of our City’s life,’ said Lord Mayor and Patron, Brendan Carr. ‘Through initiatives such as this Award we bring literature to all corners of the City, and make Dublin known throughout the world as a City of Literature.’A General Theory of Oblivion tells the story of Ludo, who on the eve of Angolan independence, bricks herself into her apartment, where she will remain for the next thirty years. She lives off vegetables and pigeons, burns her furniture and books to stay alive and keeps herself busy by writing her story on the walls of her home. The outside world slowly seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of a man fleeing his pursuers and a note attached to a bird’s foot. Until one day she meets Sabalu, a young boy from the street who climbs up to her terrace.Commenting on his win, José Eduardo Agualusa said: ‘I’m very happy to have won the International Dublin Literary Award. A General Theory of Oblivion is a book about xenophobia and the fear of the Other. This theme couldn't be more current. If my winning the prize contributes in some way to a debate and helps fight xenophobia, I would be even happier.’Daniel Hahn, who translated the novel from the original Portuguese, said ‘one of the reasons we translators translate is because we want to bring books we love to new readers – we’re natural proselytisers, I think; so winning any prestigious prize is wonderful because is it helps to do just that, to draw more people’s attention to something we’re already so eager to share. That this particular prize comes out of the wonderful world of public libraries makes is all the more special.’‘A General Theory of Oblivion is a memorable and engaging story of isolation and prejudice,’ said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian. ‘The 22nd winning title introduces Ludo, a strong female character, who struggles with fear and mistrust but survives with resilience and tenacity and the power of friendship. This is the 9th winning title in translation and the first originally written in Portuguese.’The prize money was presented to the winner and translator by Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of the Award’s founders and sponsors, Dublin City Council. The Award ceremony at The Mansion House in Dublin was livestreamed on the International DUBLIN Literary Award Facebook page and on the Dublin City Libraries Facebook page, to allow people from across the world to tune in.The 2017 judging panel, which includes Chris Morash, Vice Provost of Trinity College, commented:“Even while A General Theory of Oblivion details starvation, torture and killings and revolves around our need to forget, its tone and message are concerned with love. It is love that redeems Ludo and others, and it is love for the novel’s Luanda setting that steeps the narrative in idiosyncratic detail. The writer gives his readers both understanding and hope, taking Angolan stories and making them universally applicable. No one is truly alone in José Eduardo Agualusa’s Luanda beehive, and his characters make us, too, feel deeply connected to the world.”A General Theory of Oblivion was nominated by Biblioteca Demonstrativa Maria da Conceição Moreira Salles, Brasilia, Brazil; Gradska Knjiznica Rijeka, Croatia; Biblioteca Municipal de Oeiras and Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto, Portugal.The 2017 shortlist included six novels in translation and authors from America (Hanya Yanagihara, Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American) and Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian/American); Angola (José Eduardo Agualusa); Austria (Robert Seethaler); Denmark (Robert Seethaler (Danish/Norwegian); Ireland (Anne Enright); Mexico (Valeria Luiselli); Mozambique (Mic Couto) and Turkey (Orhan Pamuk).Copies of the winner as well as copies of the 10 shortlisted books and the 147 novels nominated for the 2017 Award, are available to borrow from Dublin Public libraries.