Dublin Literary Award 2021 longlist announced

49 books were nominated by libraries in 30 countries

The Dublin Literary Award 2021 longlist was announced today. Three things stand out about this award: nominations were made by 69 libraries in 30 countries, the longlist includes a whopping 49 books, and the winner receives a check for 100,000 euros (75,000/25,000 if it’s a work in translation). Sponsored by the Dublin City Council, the DLA is the richest prize for a single work of fiction published in English.

This year’s longlist includes 18 books in translation, originally published in 10 languages. Ten nominees are debut novels and four are by Irish writers.

Eligible works must have been first published in English between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, so the list includes books that may seem “old” like Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, which won the 2019 Booker Prize, and Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize.

Among the nominees are:

The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett

The Confessions of Frannie Langton – Sara Collins

Lost Children Archive – Valeria Luiselli

The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars – Joyce Carol Oates

Inland – Tea Obreht

10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in This Strange World – Elif Shafak

The Bird King — G. Willow Wilson

The Yield – Tara June Winch

You can see the full list here: https://dublinliteraryaward.ie/

The shortlist will be released on March 25, with the winner to be announced on May 20.

In announcing the longlist, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said, “Readers each year anticipate the longlist and later the shortlist with keen excitement and interest. As Patron of the Award, I am extremely proud of the Dublin Literary Award as it affirms Dublin’s commitment to international writers and translators, to literature and creativity. It’s more important than ever that Dublin City Council does its best to support the Arts in such challenging times and the Dublin Literary Award is a huge statement of encouragement and support.”

City Librarian Mairead Owens put this year’s longlist in context: “Books and reading have sustained the human spirit during this, the Covid-19 pandemic. We escaped with our favourite authors to distant lands, we explored new cultures and we learnt new skills. Librarians are privileged to work in such a rewarding environment. The Award solidifies the ethos of fostering literacy and a love of reading in our respective local communities and the fact that we work internationally is significant.”

The international panel of judges features 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.


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