- 30 Mar 21
The 26th winner of the €100,000 prize will be announced on May 20 in a virtual ceremony.
The shortlist for the 2021 Dublin Literary Award has been announced, featuring six remarkable novels from Irish, Mexican, British and North American authors.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (Mexico), Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Ireland), Fernanda Melchor's Hurricane Season (Mexico), On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (USA) make up the six chosen books shortlisted for the established accolade.
Celebrating 26 years, this award is the world's most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English, worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator receives €25,000.
Distinctive among literary prizes, nominations are chosen by librarians and readers from a network of libraries around the world. The 2021 Award winner will be chosen from a diverse and international shortlist which includes a novel in translation, an English language debut and a first-time novelist.
The winner of the Dublin Literary Award will be announced by its patron, Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, on Thursday May 20th as part of the opening day programme of International Literature Festival Dublin.
Valeria Luiselli's novel Lost Children Archive (4th Estate/Alfred A. Knopf) was nominated by Biblioteca Vila De Gràcia in Barcelona. The project, set on the border between the US and Mexico, is described by the judges as an "exhilarating, lyrical road novel and an unsparing meditation on dislocation, remembering, and storytelling".
Fernanda Melchor’s searing Hurricane Season draws the reader into a dark world in a small Mexican town. Translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes, it is published by the one of the great promoters of literature in translation, Fitzcarraldo Editions, and was nominated by Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, Mexico; Los Angeles Public Library, USA and Winnipeg Public Library, Canada.
Colum McCann’s Apeirogon (Bloomsbury, nominated by South Dublin Libraries) follows two men - one Palestinian, one Israeli - who find a point of equilibrium in a novel written in short chapters.
In Peter McGoran's review of the work for Hot Press, he described Apeirogon as "a hugely ambitious work, going above and beyond the remit of a novel; mixing fact and fiction, it encompasses history, philosophy of religion, the patterns of aviation in the Middle East, the geography of this war-torn area, and much more."
We're thrilled to share with you the 2021 #DubLitAward Shortlist!
Warmest congrats to our 6 shortlisted authors & translator: @BernardineEvari @ValeriaLuiselli Colum McCann Fernanda Melchor @hughes_sophie @colsonwhitehead
🧐 https://t.co/9oG9WifeN7 pic.twitter.com/bZFjz8jPY0
— DUBLIN Literary Award (@DublinLitAward) March 25, 2021
Among the most nominated novels on the 2021 list was Ocean Vuong's debut, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Jonathan Cape, Vintage). This lyrical tale of life on the edges for a gay Vietnamese man coming of age in a working class community was nominated by the DC Public Library, USA; Deichman Library, Norway; Richmond Public Library, USA; Stockholm Public Library, Sweden and Universitätsbibliothek Bern, Switzerland – eloquent testimony to the Prize’s global reach.
Colson Whitehead’s moving and disturbing account of institutional abuse, The Nickel Boys (Little Brown Group, Doubleday), was nominated by Cleveland Public Library, USA; New Hampshire State Library, USA and Openbare Bibliotheek Gent, Belgium.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton Ltd. and Penguin Books Ltd.) was nominated by libraries in Berlin and Waterford. The international bestseller combines interconnected stories of a group of black British women, and raises timeless questions about feminism and race.
The 2021 Dublin Literary Award ceremony will be held virtually this year, allowing everyone to attend this event. First established in 1994, the award is now wholly funded by Dublin City Council.
"I am so excited about our literary award again this year," Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, said.
"Literature time and again has one objective, and that is to explore the human condition, teaching us something new about others and ourselves. These are powerful and timely stories set in both familiar and unfamiliar countries and cultures. I urge everyone to read as many of these thought-provoking books as you can."
The international panel of judges who will select the winner includes Jan Carson, a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast; David James Karashima, an author, translator, and associate professor of creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo; Lebanese-born, Dr Rita Sakr who lectures in Postcolonial and Global Literatures at Maynooth University; Dr Martín Veiga, a Cork-based Galician poet, translator, and academic who lectures in Hispanic Studies at University College Cork, and Enda Wyley, an Irish poet, author, and teacher who has published six collections of poetry.
The non-voting Chairperson is Professor Chris Morash, the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin.
All of the shortlisted books can be borrowed from libraries nationwide and can be downloaded via the Borrowbox app.
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