Ten Irish novels are among 141 books nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International Dublin Literary Award.
Nominations for the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English include 39 novels in translation with works by authors from 41 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, South America and Australia and New Zealand.
Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2019 Award was launched today by Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, patron of the Award, who commended it for its promotion of excellence in world literature as well as for the opportunity to promote Irish writing internationally.
Mike McCormack, winner of the 2018 prize, said the award is "one of the shrinking jewels in this country's crown" while Vona Groarke, a 2018 judge, described it as an exemplary prize: "It’s not about marketing, it's not about anything else. It’s about honouring good writing and good reading and I think that is exemplary and I think the whole way the prize is set up is wonderful."
Other novels nominated for the 2019 Award include 2017 Costa Novel Award winner Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, a previous winner of the award in 2012 for Even the Dogs; 2017 Costa First Novel Award winner Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; In the Distance by Hernan Díaz, finalist of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser, winner of the 2018 Miles Franklin Award.
Among the 39 translated books are novels originally published in Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Korean, Māori, Serbian and Slovene.
The book that received most nominations this year is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, chosen by nine libraries in Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain and the USA.
The 2019 judging panel comprises Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, bi-lingual Irish novelist and story writer; Martin Middeke, Professor of English at the University of Augsburg, Germany; Hans Christian Oeser, translator, editor and travel writer; Evie Wyld, novelist and bookseller, and Ge Yan, author and PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. The non-voting chairperson is Eugene R Sullivan, a US federal judge and novelist.
All of the novels nominated for the award are available to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 141 titles is available on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie. The shortlist will be published on April 4, 2019, and the winner will be announced on June 12.