The Lit Review |105| Dublin Literary Award & the Ovid of Rock


Shortlist for the International Dublin Literary Award Announced

The short list for the International Dublin Literary Award was announced this week. The award is in its 23rd year, and is awarded to novels written in, or translated into English. Novels are nominated by over 400 library systems in major cities in 177 countries. Among the novels that made this year’s cut is Anne Enright’s The Green Road. The Laureate for Irish Fiction’s novel was nominated by Veria Central Public Library in Greece, Milwaukee Public Library and Edinburgh City Libraries, as well as the Dublin City Public Libraries. The full shortlist is as follows:

  • A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angolan)
  • Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Mozambican)
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish)
  • The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Danish/Norwegian)
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican)
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American)
  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian-American)
  • A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austrian)
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (American)

How to Win a Nobel Prize in Literature

The permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy held a free lecture on Wednesday, entitled ‘How to Win a Nobel Prize in Literature.’ Sara Danius has been a member of the Swedish Academy since 2013 and succeeded Peter Englund as permanent secretary in 2015. She has a privileged and enviable  position, as she is part of the selection of candidates for the the most prestigious prize in literature, as well as announcing the winner and, in the case of Bob Dylan’s win, eloquently enlightening us as to why the winner was chosen via interviews and press releases.

During the talk, Danius explained that an candidate is considered based on the accomplishments and body of work throughout their career, rather than a single work.. She also noted the criteria designated by Alfred Nobel in his will; which is that the laureate be someone who has produced “outstanding work in an idealistic direction” and has “conferred the greatest possible benefit to mankind.” During the talk she countered the question of whether “the Academy undergone a radical change.”  “Has the Academy started to pay attention to middlebrow, even lowbrow forms of culture? We don’t mind such characterizations. I’d even say we like them. But I’m afraid they’re not true.”

Danius went on to discuss the two most recent winners, Svetlana Alexievich and Bob Dylan, selected during her time as permanent secretary. Of Dylan, she said that “he constantly undergoes metamorphoses. He feels the compulsion to change, as well as the pleasure of change, indeed the joy of change. He feels the pull of the past, and he feels the pull of the future. Dylan is the Ovid of rock music.”



There’s two days left to see Levin & Levin, the debut play by Aideen Wylde. Co-directed by Veronica Coburn and Bryan Burroughs, heavyweights of new Irish theatre, the play is described as “an ode to the displaced children of the world.” You can see the show in Cork’s Everyman theatre tonight (13th) and Saturday,15th April at 8pm (excluding Friday 14th April). Tickets €20, concession €18, and student tickets €9, are available from, or from the box office, phone 021 4501 673.


The deadline for the Bath Novel Award is in a couple of weeks, Monday the 24th to be precise. The competition is designed for novelists who are looking for the opportunity to sign their first publishing deal. Entry is £25, and to enter you must submit the first 5,000 words of your novel, along with a one-paged synopsis. Full entry terms here.

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