Sunday 25 August 2019

Two Irish authors shortlisted for world's most lucrative literary prize

Author Sally Rooney. Photo: Tony Gavin
Author Sally Rooney. Photo: Tony Gavin
Novelist Bernard MacLaverty

Rachel Dugan

Two Irish authors have been shortlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award - the world's most lucrative literary prize for a single novel published in English.

Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends and Bernard MacLaverty's Midwinter Break have made the 10-strong shortlist for the 100,000euro prize, which is now in its 24th year.

The shortlist, which was nominated by libraries around the world, also includes novels from France, Pakistan, the UK and the US.

Mayo author Rooney's 2017 Conversations with Friends was the 28-year-old's debut novel. She followed it up last year with the Man Booker longlisted Normal People, which won a slew of awards including the Costa Award Novel Award.

Midwinter Break, meanwhile, is Belfast-born and Glasgow-based MacLaverty's fifth novel, and was his first in 16 years. It won the Novel of the Year award at the 2017 Irish Book awards. The 74-year-old is also the author of Cal and Lamb, both of which he adapted for the big screen.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Niall Ring, patron of the Award, said last night: "The beauty of this award is that it reaches out to readers and authors worldwide, while also celebrating excellence in contemporary Irish literature represented on the 2019 shortlist by Sally Rooney and Bernard MacLaverty.’

Last year, Mayo writer Mike McCormack won the prize for his novel Solar Bones.

The winner of the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award, which is entirely funded by Dublin City Council, will be announced on June 12.

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