Irish writer Mike McCormack's one-sentence novel wins 2018 International Dublin Literary Award

The €100,000 (approx. $152,960 Cdn) prize recognizes a single work of fiction published in English.
Mike McCormack is an Irish novelist and short story writer. (Astrid Eriksson Tropp, Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons/Soho Press)

Irish novelist and short story writer Mike McCormack has won the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award for his novel Solar Bones on June 13, 2018. Formerly known as the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the €100,000 (approx. $152,960 Cdn) prize recognizes a single work of fiction published in English.

Noted by the 2018 judging panel for being "formally ambitious, stylistically dauntless and linguistically spirited," the 270-page novel is written in a single sentence.

Solar Bones was chosen from a total of 150 titles, nominated by public libraries in Canada, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.

Solar Bones is the story of All Souls' Day, a day in Ireland that the dead are thought to return. Protagonist Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took him away and then brought him home again.

"The novel's seamless structure gives it a beautifully fluid pace. An extremely enjoyable read, it is also poignant, moving and evocative," the 2018 judging panel added.

For the first time since the award's inception in 1996, the gender balance skewed female with six women and four men making the 2018 shortlist.

Though 16 Canadians, including Madeleine Thien, Katherena Vermette and Dominique Fortier, were on the 150-title longlist, no Canadians made the 2018 shortlist.

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