US author Akhil Sharma wins €100,000 International Dublin Literary Award

'Family Life' was chosen from a total of 160 titles

Dublin Literary Award, winner, Family Life, Akhil Sharma, prize money, Dublin City Council

Akhil Sharma | Image via @DublinLitAward on Twitter

American author Akhil Sharma has won the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award for his novel 'Family Life'.

The €100,000 award is the world's largest prize for a single novel published in English.

It is organised and sponsored by Dublin City Council.

Uniquely, the award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the world, and recognises both writers and translators.

The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House.

Sharma was born in Delhi, India and moved with his family to the United States when he was eight.

He is the author of 'An Obedient Father' - winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

He lives in New York City and is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University in Newark.

Akhil Sharma's 'Family Life'

The winning novel was chosen from a total of 160 titles, nominated by libraries in 118 cities in 43 countries.

The shortlist of ten novels, as chosen by an international panel of judges, included works from five continents.

'Family Life' tells the story of eight-year-old Ajay, whose family move from Delhi to America in 1978.

Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land.

Sharma is the third American author to win the prize in its 21 year history.

Dublin's Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh said: "I am delighted that Dublin City Council is now the full owner and sponsor of the International Dublin Literary Award."

"Initiatives such as this award have consolidated Dublin's position as a centre of literary excellence on the world stage."

"Dublin's rich literary and cultural life makes Dublin a great destination for tourists, for students, and for overseas businesses, and indeed adds to the quality of life for all of us."

Commenting on his win, Akhil Sharma said: "To be acknowledged by people I respect is a strange thing. I can't say I fooled them. I feel abashed by this honour."