Three African authors have been shortlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award – the ‘world’s richest literary prize’.
Angolan writer and journalist José Eduardo Agualusa, Mozambican author Mia Couto and Nigerian-American debut novelist Chinelo Okparanta have made the 10-book list.
Anne Enright is the only Irish author to make the list, along with previous winner Orhan Pamuk and American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer.
2017 International Dublin Literary Award shortlist:
- A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Translated from the original Portuguese by Daniel Hahn)
- Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Translated from the original Portuguese by David Brookshaw)
- The Green Road by Anne Enright
- The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Translated from the original Danish by Martin Aitken)
- The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Translated from the original Spanish by Christina MacSweeney)
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
- A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Translated from the original Turkish by Ekin Oklap)
- A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Translated from the original German by Charlotte Collins)
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 21st June.
The International Dublin Literary Award, formerly known as the IMPAC Award, comes with €100,000 (about R1,5-million) prize money, making it the most valuable award for a single work of fiction in English. If the winning book is a translation, the author receives €75,000 and the translator €25,000. The winner also receives a trophy provided by Dublin City Council.
The award is now in its 23rd year and aims to “promote excellence in world literature”. Nominations are made by libraries in major cities throughout the world, on the basis of “high literary merit”, with participating libraries nominating up to three books. Over 400 library systems in 177 countries worldwide are invited to nominate books each year.
Dublin’s Lord Mayor Brendan Carr, Patron of the Award, said:
‘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. 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.’
Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, said:
‘The 2017 winner will be chosen from this intriguing 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. 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.’
Recent previous winners of the award include Family Life by Akhil Sharma (2016), Harvest by Jim Crace (2015), The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (2014), City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (2013), Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor (2012), Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (2011), The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (2010)