Prestigious Dublin Literary Award reveals shortlist

Celebrating excellence in contemporary world literature, the Dublin Literary Award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English.

Six authors from America, Canada, Australia, Romania and Ireland have had their books chosen for the prestigious Dublin Literary Award shortlist.

Two of the books are by Irish authors: Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry and Haven by Emma Donoghue, a Booker Prize-shortlisted writer and Oscar-nominated screenplay writer. The other four shortlisted books are Solenoid by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter, If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery, The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr and Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright.

The shortlisted books explore themes of race, discrimination, trauma, solitude and communism.

The Dublin Literary Award competition is unique among literary prizes in that nominations are chosen by librarians and readers from a network of libraries around the world. The nominations are shortlisted by an international panel of judges, which this year features Daniel Medin, Professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris; Ingunn Snædal an Icelandic poet, translator, literary editor and teacher; Anton Hur an author and translator based in Korea; Irenosen Okojie a Nigerian-British author who was awarded an MBE for Services to Literature and Lucy Collins, an Associate Professor at University College Dublin.

Dublin Book Festival, Dublin City.

The winner of the €100,000 prize will be announced on 23 May at the International Literature Festival Dublin which runs from 17–26 May. The festival is one of Ireland’s top literary events and celebrates the island’s love of storytelling through readings, conversations, debates, screenings, guided walks, seminars, podcasts and more.

Among this year’s events will be David Nicholls in conversation with best-selling Irish novelist Marian Keyes. Nicholls is the author of One Day, now a major Netflix series. Another highlight will be a celebration of Long Island, the new book by Laureate for Irish Fiction and acclaimed author Colm Tóibín.

The festival is one of many experiences to be enjoyed by book lovers in Dublin, which is a UNESCO City of Literature. The city was home to four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature (Shaw, Yeats, Beckett and Heaney), and the birthplace of Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Brendan Behan and James Joyce. Joyce famously said: “When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.”

In September, the city hosts the International Dublin Writers’ Festival and in November the Dublin Book Festival

There are also many excellent literary museums, including the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI) where literary gems such as ‘Copy No. 1’ of Ulysses, can be viewed, and the James Joyce Centre.