2016 Dublin International Literary Award Announced

Akhil Sharma flanked by Dublin Fire Brigade & Dublin City’s Sword & Mace

It was a thrill to be shortlisted this spring for the 2016 Dublin International Literary Award together with Jenny Erpenbeck for my translation of her novel The End of Days (a really nice shortlist). Now I’m delighted to announce that the award – which was presented last night at a ceremony in Dublin featuring the city’s fire brigade (!), Sword & Mace (!!), and Lord Mayor/Ardmhéara, Críona Ni Dhálaigh – has gone to Akhil Sharma for his novel Family Life. This is a very special prize in that nominations are sent in from selected libraries from around the world, so presumably have a very direct link to what people actually like to read, and comes with a hefty £100,000 purse (one-quarter of which goes to the translator in the case of a translated book). Four of the 10 books on this year’s long-list were translations, which I was glad to see. Hope to see even more translations on the list next year, and you know I’ll be rooting for a translated book to win the prize again soon. The prize has gone to a translated book 8 out of the 21 times it’s been awarded, which factors out to 38% – not so bad, I suppose, but given all the attention foreign-language literature in English translation has been getting in recent years, surely we can see that figure improved on? Meanwhile, congratulations to Akhil Sharma on this splendid award!


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