2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award announced – 39 novels in translation nominated

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39 novels in translation are among 141 titles 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 works by authors from 36 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.

Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2019 Award was launched today [19th November] by Lord Mayor, Nial Ring, 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 is a UNESCO City of Literature and cultural tourism is a vital part of the City’s economy’ he said: ‘this prestigious Award enhances the City’s worldwide reputation as a literary destination’.

Mike McCormack, on winning the 2018 prize in June commented:

It speaks something generous,  eloquent and enquiring that Dublin City Council, for so many years have put their resources, their  weight, all their expertise behind this prize, it has huge international standing, it has a unique reach and a unique generosity and long may it live, it’s one of the shining jewels in this country’s crown’.

Among the 39 translated books are novels originally published in Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Korean, Māori, Serbian and Slovenian. Translated authors include Fredrik Backman, Jean Echenoz, Peter Stamm, Maria Duenas, Zoran Zivkovic and Han Yujoo. The 39 novels were translated from 15 languages in to English. Full list of the nominated translated novels is included below.

9 of the 23 previous winners of the award have been novels in translation. The author received €75,000 and the translator received €25,000.

2017: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa,

translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn

2014: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean

2010: The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker translated from Dutch by David Colmer

2007: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson translated from Norwegian by Anne Born

2004: This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun translated from French by Linda Coverdale

2003: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk translated from Turkish by Erdag M. Göknar

2002: Atomised by Michel Houellebecq, translated from French by Frank Wynne

1998: The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller , translated from German by Michael Hofmann

1997: A Heart So White by Javier Marías translated from Spanishby Margaret Jull Costa

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Brendan Teeling, Acting Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 141 books eligible for the 2019 award were nominated by libraries in 115 cities and 41 countries worldwide; noting that 39 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages and 48 are first novels.

Speaking of the global interest in the Award, the City Librarian 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’.

Other novels nominated for the 2019 Award include Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, winner of the Man Booker Prize, 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.

The book that received most nominations this year is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, chosen by 9 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 Ph.D candidate in Comparative Literature. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan.

All of the novels nominated for the Award are available for readers to borrow from Dublin’s public libraries. The full list of 141 titles is available onwww.dublinliteraryaward.ieThe shortlist will be published on 4th April 2019 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 12th June 2019. 

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a Dublin City Council initiative.

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