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’.
Libraries in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia and libraries in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru and Wellington, New Zealand nominated books for the 2019 award.
Australian author David Malouf was the first winner of the award in 1996 for Remembering Babylon.
The Australian titles include:
Taboo by Kim Scott
A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
First Person by Richard Flanagan
The New Zealand titles include:
Decline and Fall on Savage Street by Fiona Farrell
The Necessary Angel by C.K. Stead
Sleeps Standing Moetū by Witi Ihimaera with Hemi Kelly
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 countriesworldwide; 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 Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, winner of the 2012 award for Even the Dogs.
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 Australian/British author and bookseller Evie Wyld, 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 and Ge Yan, Chinese 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 on www.dublinliteraryaward.ie. The 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.
Notes for Editors:
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. Nominations are made by library systems in major cities throughout the world. Established in 1994 in partnership with the company IMPAC, the Award is now in its 24th year and is wholly funded by Dublin City Council. The Award aims to promote excellence in world literature. Designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010, Dublin’s literary heritage is a significant driver of cultural tourism for the City.
‘I think this is a major prize, it’s such an interesting prize, because of the way it’s set up, because of the way the nominations come, because of the fact that it is funded by Dublin City Library Service, all of this marks it out as being very different. It’s not a corporate sponsor, it’s a different kind of prize based to honour reading, and I think that’s kind of extraordinary, it’s not about marketing, its not about anything else, it’s about honouring good writing and good reading and I think that is exemplary and I think the whole way the prize is set up is wonderful, the scope of it, the way it includes translation in the way that it does, the way it creates different contexts in which you can consider books. So if you’re reading the Man Booker, you’re reading in the context of books that are published in the UK and America, but if you’re reading for this prize, the Dublin Literary prize, you’re reading in the context of books that are published across the world, so I think it is extraordinary that way and I think the winner of this prize, that’s a major achievement.’ Vona Groarke, 2018 judging panel.
Full list of novels from Australia and New Zealand
NOMINATED ENGLISH TITLE
A Long Way From Home
Song of the Sun God
Claire G. Coleman
The Life to Come
Michelle de Kretser
The Fish Girl
See What I Have Done
And Fire Came Down
Clear to the Horizon
The New Animals
Decline and Fall on Savage Street
Sleeps Standing Moetū
Through the Lonesome Dark
The Necessary Angel
C. K. Stead