One Irish author makes 'International Dublin Literary Award' shortlist

Anne Enright will face off against nine others to claim the €100,000 prize

The shortlist of titles in contention to claim the International Dublin Literary Award, which offers one of the biggest cash prizes to the winning author (and translator), has been announced – with just one Irish writer battling it out.

First launched in 1995, the prize is solely sponsored by Dublin City Council, which seeks submissions from more than 400 library networks in 177 countries to find the finest book written in or translated into English.

The winning author claims a prize of €100,000, or in the case of the book being originally written in a language other than English, the prize is divided between the author and translator, with the former receiving €75,000 and the latter the remaining €25,000.

Irish writer Anne Enright, the inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction, is the only domestic writer to make the 2017 shortlist. Her novel The Green Road, which won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and was nominated for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, tells the story of an Irish family over a period of 25 years.

A previous Booker Prize-winner, Enright faces stiff competition from a previous winner of the International Dublin Literary Award (Orhan Pamuk), as well as American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer.

The full list of nominees for 2017 reads:

  1. A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angolan), Translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. Published by Harvill Secker & Archipelago Books.
  2. Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Mozambican), Translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux & Harvill Secker.
  3. The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish), Published by Jonathan Cape & W.W. Norton.
  4. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Danish/Norwegian), Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken. Published by Atlantic Books & W.W. Norton.
  5. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican), Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Christina MacSweeney. Published by Coffee House Press & Granta Books.
  6. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American), first novel, Published by Grove/Atlantic & Corsair.
  7. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian-American), Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & Granta Books.
  8. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish), Translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap. Published by Faber & Faber.
  9. A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austrian) Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins. Published by Picador
  10. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (American) Published by Doubleday & Picador

“The titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and the USA,” said Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, Patron of the Award.

“This is the beauty of this award; it reaches out to readers and authors worldwide, while also celebrating excellence in contemporary Irish literature represented on the 2017 shortlist by our Laureate for Irish Fiction, Anne Enright.”

The 2017 winner will be chosen from an international shortlist which includes six novels in translation from Danish, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

“The novels come from Angola, Austria, Denmark/Norway, Ireland, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Turkey, Vietnam and the USA,” said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian.

“Issues of conflict and communication are set against a myriad of cultural and family settings and in contemporary and historic time periods. For readers, these stories add new and absorbing characters to  our circle of international literary  acquaintances.”

A five-person panel made up of writers, translators, and literary critics, will now make the final selection of this year’s winner, with members of the public invited to visit their local library to borrow the shortlisted titles.

“Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and June 21st when I announce the winner,” said Lord Mayor Brendan Carr.

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