Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

19.45 12 Jun 2019


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The debut novel from US author Emily Ruskovich has won the prestigious International Dublin Literary Award.

She's the fourth American author to win the €100,000 in the award's 24-year history.

Her novel Idaho tells of a young couple who move from the prairies to the 'unexpected isolation' of the northern Idaho mountains.

Set over 50 years, it follows what happens after a shocking event tears the family apart.

33-year-old Ms Ruskovich said she "cannot express how grateful" she is to receive the award.

She said: "It is difficult to know how to respond to the magnitude of this kindness that has been so suddenly bestowed upon me. I feel shocked. I feel humbled.

"I am especially honoured because of the admiration that I feel for the other finalists, authors from all over the world who are all doing such crucial and beautiful work."

Irish author Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, part of the judging panel, called it a "masterpiece on the redeeming and regenerative potential of music, poetry, literature and art".

Other nominees for the 2019 award included Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, and the Man Booker Prize winning Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.

The Dublin award is nominated from public libraries in cities around the world, and recognises both writers and translators.

Sponsored by Dublin City Council, it's the world’s largest prize for literary works published in English.

Past winners include Mike McCormack for Solar Bones, Kevin Barry for City of Bohane, and Colm Tóibín for The Master.

When the award is won by a translated work, the author receives €75,000 and the translator €25,000.

Main image: Emily Ruskovich. Picture by Conor McCabe Photography

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