Yewande Omotoso, Marie Ndiaye and nine others make International Dublin Literary Award 2018 Shortlist

Yewande Omotoso’s The Woman Next Door is among ten books listed on the International Dublin Literary Award’s 2018 shortlist. The shortlist was announced on April 5th, 2018.  The book, about two women neighbours who hate each other, is a brilliant study in characterisation.

I’ve been following the Dublin Prize for many years. It’s one of my favorite prize schemes because (1) nominations of books are made by participating libraries around the world, which means that (2) the longlist, of about 150 books, is a treasure trove of books (written originally in, or translated into, English) from all over the world.

There were five books by African writers on the longlist – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi; Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue; The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo; Pleasure by Nthikeng Mohlele; and The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso.

Last year, José Eduardo Agualusa’s The General Theory of Oblivion won the award.  Two Africans back to back would be fab, so I’m keeping all my fingers crossed for The Woman Next Door.

The shortlisted titles are:

  1. Baba Dunja’s Last Love by Alina Bronsky (Ukrainian/German) Translated from the German by Tim Mohr. Published by Europa Editions.
  2. The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera (Mexican) Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. Published by And Other Stories.
  3. The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (Norwegian) Translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett & Don Shaw. Published by MacLehose Press.
  4. Human Acts by Han Kang (South Korean) Translated from Korean by Deborah Smith. Published by Portobello Books and Random House, USA.
  5. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Irish) Published by Faber & Faber.
  6. Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Irish) Published by Tramp Press.
  7. Distant Light  by Antonio Moresco (Italian) Translated from Italian by Richard Dixon. Published by Archipelago Books.
  8. Ladivine  by Marie Ndiaye (French) Translated from French by Jordan Stump. Published by MacLehose Press.
  9. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (South African/Nigerian/Barbadian) Published by Chatto & Windus.
  10.  My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (American) Published by Penguin, UK

I’m also delighted to see Han Kang’s Human Acts on the shortlist.  I read her first translated novel, The Vegetarians, last year and loved it! Her third novel, The White Book, is on the 2018 Man Booker International Prize longlist. I’ve been meaning to start reading both Marie Ndiaye and Yuri Herrera. I have two of the shortlisted books so maybe I will get the rest and attempt a shadow jury reading of the shortlist. Maybe.

The International Dublin Literary Award is “worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator received €25,000.” (Award Press Release).   The winner will be announced on June 13th, 2018.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers!