Books

George Saunders, Kamila Shamsie, Sally Rooney among finalists for €100K International DUBLIN Literary Award

The International DUBLIN Literary Award prize is given annually to the best work of fiction written in English from anywhere in the world.
(From left): George Saunders, Kamila Shamsie and Sally Rooney are shortlisted for the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Prize. (David Crosby, Zain Mustafa, Jonny L. Davies)

George Saunders, Kamila Shamsie and Sally Rooney are among the finalists for the International DUBLIN Literary Award, an annual €100,000 ($175,670 Cdn) prize that goes to the best work of fiction written in English from anywhere in the world.

The 10 novels were whittled down from a longlist of 141 books, which included 13 Canadian writers. No Canadians made it to the shortlist this year.

American writer Saunders is a nominee for Lincoln in the BardoThe critically acclaimed novel follows U.S. president Abraham Lincoln as he visits the grave of his 11-year-old son while the Civil War rages on. The book won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

Shamsie, who is from the U.K. and Pakistan, is on the shortlist for Home Fire. The novel tells the story of two British Pakistani families colliding as one struggles to break free of their jihadist father's dark legacy and the other seeks political power in London. The novel won the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction.

Irish writer Rooney is a finalist for her debut novel Conversations with Friends, which follows a young student in Dublin who unwittingly traipses through the wealthy's lavish world by way of a well-known journalist and her actor husband. 

The full shortlist is:

  • Compass by Mathias Énard, translated by Charlotte Mandell
  • History of Wolves by author Emily Fridlund
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
  • Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
  • Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert
  •  Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The jury is comprised of English professor Martin Middeke, author Evie Wyld, literary translator Hans-Christian Oeser, academic and author Yan Ge and novelist Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.

The winner will be announced on June 12.

The 2018 winner was Solar Bones by Irish writer Mike McCormack.

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