International Dublin Literary Award 2019 Shortlist

Ten novels have been shortlisted for the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The list includes genre works, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, and Moshin Hamid’s Exit West. The winner will be announced June 12.

  • Compass by Mathias Énard (France) Translated from French by Charlotte Mandell. Published by New Directions and Fitzcarraldo Editions.
  • History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (America) Published by Grove Atlantic.
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan) Published by Vintage, UK and Penguin, USA.
  • Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty (Northern Ireland) published by Jonathan Cape and W.W. Norton
  • Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) Published by Fourth Estate.
  • Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Ireland) Published by Faber & Faber and Hogarth.
  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (America) Published by Chatto & Windus.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (America) Published by Bloomsbury and Random House USA.
  • A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert (UK) Published by Virago Press.
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan / UK) Published by Bloomsbury and Riverhead Books.

Announcing the shortlist, Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said:

This is an award of which I, as Lord Mayor, am extremely proud, and I take every opportunity to talk about it when on my travels, as it is the very centrepiece of Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. 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 Lord Mayor reminded Dubliners that they can borrow the shortlisted novels from all branches of Dublin City Public Libraries.

Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and 12th June.

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 12th June.

2019 Judging Panel

Martin Middeke is Professor of English at the University of Augsburg, Germany, and Visiting Professor of English at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has held scholarships by the International Beckett Foundation at the University of Reading, UK, and he was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University, USA. He also held a Visiting Professorship at the University of Barcelona and was Long Room Hub Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin in 2017. Major book publications include works on contemporary British theatre, nineteenth- to twenty-first century fiction, and literary theory. Recent publications as (co-) editor include The Literature of Melancholia (Palgrave, 2011); Theory Matters (2016); Of Precariousness (2017)and four volumes on British, Irish, American and South African Contemporary Playwrights (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2011-2015). He’s the co-editor of ANGLIA: Journal of English Philology, founded in 1878 and the oldest journal dedicated to matters Anglia in world.

Evie Wyld was born in London and grew up in Australia and South London. She is the author of two novels, All the Birds, Singing, winner of the Miles Franklin Award; and After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; and one graphic memoir, Everything is Teeth. In 2013 she was included on Granta Magazine’s once a decade Best of Young British Novelists list. She lives in Peckham where she part owns a small independent bookshop called Review. 

Hans-Christian Oeser, born 1950 in Wiesbaden, studied German and Politics in Marburg and Berlin. In 1980 he moved to Ireland to take up a post as Lecturer in German at UCD. Since then he has been working as a literary translator, editor and travel writer. He has translated numerous novels, short story and poetry collections, particularly by Irish writers such as Sebastian Barry, Brendan Behan, Maeve Brennan, Anne Enright, Dermot Healy, Claire Keegan, Eugene McCabe, John McGahern, Bernard MacLaverty, John Montague, Jamie O’Neill, Patrick Pearse, William Trevor and Oscar Wilde. In 1997 he was awarded the Aristeion Prize for his translation of Patrick McCabe’s novel The Butcher Boy. In 2010 he received the Rowohlt Prize for his life’s work, in 2014 the Braem Prize for Mark Twain’s Autobiography.

Yan Ge was born in Sichuan Province, China in 1984. She is a writer and a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature. Publishing since 1994, she is the author of eleven books. Her work has been translated into English, French, and German, among other languages. She was named by People’s Literature magazine as one of twenty future literature masters in China. The English translation of her latest novel The Chili Bean Paste Clan was published by Balestier Press. She has recently started to write in English. She lives in Dublin with her husband and son.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne was born in Dublin. She is a novelist, short story writer and playwright, and writes in both Irish and English. She is also a literary critic who reviews frequently for The Irish Times.  Her fiction includes The Dancers Dancing (1999), The Bray House (1990), Fox Swallow Scarecrow (2007) and The Shelter of Neighbours (2012), Hurlamaboc (2009) and several other books.   Her latest books are Selected Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, 2017) and a memoir, Twelve Thousand Days (Blackstaff Press, 2018)

Eilis has won many awards for her work, including the Stewart Parker Award for Drama, Bisto Book of the Year`Awards, several Oireachtas awards for play and novels, and a shortlisting for the Orange Prize for Fiction.  She received the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2015, and a Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016.

A well-known teacher of Creative Writing, she has been Writer Fellow in UCD and Trinity College, and is a member of Aosdána.

Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, non-voting chair of the judging panel, is a Senior Federal Judge and a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience from over sixteen years on the bench. His first novel, The Majority Rules, was published in 2005.  His second novel of his political thriller trilogy; The Report to the Judiciary, was published in 2008. When not recalled to the Federal Bench, Judge Sullivan is a partner in a Washington law firm.

Update 04/04/2019: Added Exit West to list of genre works per comments,

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4 thoughts on “International Dublin Literary Award 2019 Shortlist

  1. “Exit West” is also a work of fantastika, with doorways that lead not to a closet or another room, but elsewhere.

  2. Jerry Kaufman beat me to it — “Exit West” is a portal fantasy. Highly worth the read, too, it’s great.

  3. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 6/12/19 If It Is A Pixel That Walks Through Walls, You MAY Get Scratched | File 770

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