International Dublin Literary Award

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International DUBLIN Literary Award
Awarded for a novel written in English or translated into English
Location Dublin, Ireland
Presented by Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive
Formerly called International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Reward(s) 100,000
First awarded 1996
Currently held by José Eduardo Agualusa for A General Theory of Oblivion (2017)
Most awards 1 (all)
Most nominations 3 – Colm Tóibín, Colum McCann (author)
3 – Anne McLean (translator)

The International DUBLIN Literary Award (Irish: Duais Liteartha Idirnáisiúnta Bhaile Átha Chliath) is an international literary award awarded each year for a novel written in English or translated into English. It aims to promote excellence in world literature and is solely sponsored by the City of Dublin, Ireland. At 100,000, the award is one of the richest literary prizes in the world. If the winning book is a translation (as it has been nine times), the prize is divided between the writer and the translator, with the writer receiving €75,000 and the translator €25,000.[1]

Nominations are submitted by public libraries worldwide – over 400 library systems in 177 countries worldwide are invited to nominate books each year – from which the shortlist and the eventual winner are selected by an international panel of judges (which changes each year). The most recent winner of the award is José Eduardo Agualusa for A General Theory of Oblivion.[2]

Eligibility and procedure[edit]

The prize is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation. The presentation of the award is post-dated by two years from the date of publication. Thus, to win an award in 2007, the work must have been published in 2005. If it is an English translation, the work must have been published in its original language in the same calendar year.[3] This has been subject to criticism; according to The Irish Times journalist Eileen Battersby, "many of the titles are already well known even at the time of the publication of the long list."[2]

Dublin City Public Libraries seek nominations from public libraries from major cities across the world. The longlist is announced in October or November of each year, and the shortlist (up to 10 titles) is announced in March or April of the year following. The longlist and shortlist are chosen by an international panel of judges which rotates each year. Allen Weinstein was the non-voting chair of the panel from 1996 to 2003. As of 2017, Sean Donlon is the non-voting chair.[3] The winner of the award is announced each June.[3]


The Award was established in 1994 as the "International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award", a joint initiative of Dublin City Council and the American productivity company IMPAC, which had its European headquarters in Dublin.[4] James Irwin, president of IMPAC established the prize money at €100,000. A trust fund was established to pay for the award and its maintenance. The Award has been administered by Dublin City Public Libraries since its inception. IMPAC went defunct in the late-2000s when its founder and president James Irwin died in 2009.[4] In late 2013, the trust fund became exhausted and there was no money left to run the Award.[4] Dublin City Council agreed to step in and continue funding the Award under the same brand name of the now-defunct company while seeking a new sponsor.[4] It was reported that Dublin City Council paid €100,000 for the prize plus €80,250 in administration costs in 2015.[4] The award was subsequently renamed the International DUBLIN Literary Award in November 2015.

Describing the Award as "the most eclectic and unpredictable of the literary world's annual gongs", Michelle Pauli posed the question in relation to the longlist for the 2004 edition, "Where would you find Michael Dobbs and Tony Parsons up against Umberto Eco and Milan Kundera for a €100,000 prize?"[5]

Winners and shortlists[edit]

Year Image Winner Language Novel Shortlisted[6]
1996 David Malouf.JPG Malouf, DavidDavid Malouf[7] English Remembering Babylon
1997 Javier Marías (Feria del Libro de Madrid, 31 de mayo de 2008).jpg Marías, JavierJavier Marías[8] Spanish A Heart So White
(translated by Margaret Jull Costa)
1998 Herta Müller 2007.JPG Müller, HertaHerta Müller[9] German The Land of Green Plums
(translated by Michael Hofmann)
1999 Miller, AndrewAndrew Miller[10] English Ingenious Pain double-dagger
2000 Barker, NicolaNicola Barker[9] English Wide Open
2001 Alistair MacLeod reading at Cape Breton University.jpg MacLeod, AlistairAlistair MacLeod[11] English No Great Mischief
2002 2008.06.09. Michel Houellebecq Fot Mariusz Kubik 03.jpg Houellebecq, MichelMichel Houellebecq[12] French Atomised/The Elementary Particles (aka Atomised)
(translated by Frank Wynne)
2003 Pamuk.jpg Pamuk, OrhanOrhan Pamuk[2] Turkish My Name Is Red
(translated by Erdağ Göknar)
2004 Tahar Ben Jelloun 1.jpg Ben Jelloun, TaharTahar Ben Jelloun[13] French This Blinding Absence of Light
(translated by Linda Coverdale)
2005 Jones, Edward P.Edward P. Jones[14] English The Known World
2006 Colm toibin 2006.jpg Tóibín, ColmColm Tóibín[15] English The Master
2007 Per-petterson-author.jpg Petterson, PerPer Petterson[16] Norwegian Out Stealing Horses
(translated by Anne Born)
2008 9.13.09RawiHageByLuigiNovi1.jpg Hage, RawiRawi Hage[10] English De Niro's Game double-dagger
2009 Thomas, MichaelMichael Thomas[10] English Man Gone Down double-dagger
2010 Gerbrand Bakker.jpg Bakker, GerbrandGerbrand Bakker[17] Dutch The Twin
(translated by David Colmer)
2011 Colum McCann Portrait.jpg McCann, ColumColum McCann[18] English Let the Great World Spin
2012 McGregor, JonJon McGregor[19] English Even the Dogs
2013 Barry, KevinKevin Barry[20] English City of Bohane
2014 Juan Gabriel Vásquez 1.jpg Vásquez, Juan GabrielJuan Gabriel Vásquez[21] Spanish The Sound of Things Falling
(translated by Anne McLean)
2015 Jim crace 2009.jpg Crace, JimJim Crace[22] English Harvest
2016 Sharma, AkhilAkhil Sharma[9][23] English Family Life
2017 JE Agualusa.jpg Agualusa, José EduardoJosé Eduardo Agualusa[24] Portuguese A General Theory of Oblivion
(translated by Daniel Hahn)
  • double-dagger – debut novel

Wins by language[edit]

Total Language Years
13 English 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
2 French 2002, 2004
2 Spanish 1997, 2014
1 German 1998
1 Turkish 2003
1 Norwegian 2007
1 Dutch 2010
1 Portuguese 2017


  1. ^ "Dutch writer wins world's biggest literature prize". 18 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Battersby, Eileen (21 June 2017). "José Eduardo Agualusa wins €100,000 International Dublin Literary Award". Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c FAQs. Dublin City Public Libraries. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hilliard, Mark (May 31, 2015). "New sponsor sought for €100,000 Impac literary Award". The Irish Times. 
  5. ^ Pauli, Michelle (18 November 2003). "Bestsellers make impact on eclectic longlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2003. 
  6. ^ "Search Results for: shortlist". International DUBLIN Literary Award Office. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Battersby, Eileen (17 June 1996). "Malouf wins first Impac literary award". Irish Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Battersby, Eileen (15 May 1997). "Spaniard awarded £100,000 Dublin literary prize". Irish Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Battersby, Eileen (9 June 2016). "International Dublin Literary Award won by Akhil Sharma’s Family Life". Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c Flood, Alison (11 June 2009). "Debut novelist takes €100,000 Impac Dublin prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Yates, Emma (16 May 2001). "First novel takes fiction's richest prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2001. 
  12. ^ "Controversial author picks up IMPAC Literary Award". The Guardian. 13 May 2002. Retrieved 13 May 2002. 
  13. ^ "Dublin literary prize awarded". Los Angeles Times. 18 June 2004. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Winner to Read, Speak on Campus". UNC Global. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  15. ^ Witchel, Alex (3 May 2009). "His Irish Diaspora". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  16. ^ Pauli, Michelle (14 June 2007). "Biggest literary prize goes to little-known Norwegian". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  17. ^ Flood, Alison (17 June 2010). "Dutch gardener reaps Impac prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  18. ^ Taylor, Charlie (15 June 2011). "Colum McCann wins Impac award". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  19. ^ Flood, Alison (13 June 2012). "Jon McGregor wins International Impac Dublin Literary Award". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Lea, Richard (7 June 2013). "Kevin Barry wins Impac award". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Vasquez celebrates book prize win". Irish Independent. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Flood, Alison (17 June 2015). "Impac prize goes to 'consummate wordsmith' Jim Crace for Harvest". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  23. ^ Flood, Alsion (9 June 2016). "Akhil Sharma wins €100,000 Dublin International literary award". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "The 2017 winner is announced!". 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 

External links[edit]