Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 4, 2019

2019 Dublin Literary Award shortlist

Well, it’s disappointing that the shortlist doesn’t include any Aussies or Kiwis (see those that were longlisted here), but FWIW here’s the shortlist (links on the titles are to my reviews):

History of WolvesCompass by Mathias Enard, translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell, see Tony’s review at Messenger’s Booker and More

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid

Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty, see the review at Brona’s Books and Nancy’s at Nancy Elin.

Reservoir 13Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, see Kate’s review at Books Are My Favourite and Best

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (reviewed everywhere and anyway, it won the Booker)

A Boy in Winter (Seiffert)A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (reviewed everywhere, and on my TBR!)

I’m off out to the theatre now but will jazz this up when I get home.

Just one translation, that’s unusual for this prize…


  1. 10 books…and one of my favorites was not selected “Go, Went, Gone” by J. Erpenbeck. I’ll start my shortlist reading today with your tip
    Resevoir 13 by J. McGregor. Hopefully I can read all the books before 29 May.
    I reviewed Midwinter Break…
    here is the link


  2. Can’t we claim Rachel Seiffert? I think her mother is Australian 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m afraid I don’t take much more than a cursory interest in this award. It’s just so huge that I find hard to make any sense of it! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    I had read a few of the long list, but haven’t read any of the shortlist.


    • I pay attention when there’s Aussies in it!
      But it’s an award that has limitations: the books are nominated by libraries so it’s rare that under-rated books turn up in the lists. They’re usually the books we’ve heard about anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, and what did you see at the theatre? We’ve been to two shows in the last week or so.


    • A marvellous play: it was called Underground, a dramatisation of Nancy (The White Mouse) Wake telling the story of her life. We saw it at our local theatre, but there’s a description of it here at the Gasworks. margot Knight was fantastic in the lead role:)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. $ 50.000 prize…that’s a hefty reward for a book!
    I’m reading 5 of the official shortlist and 5 books I think DESERVED to be shortlisted. Tomorrow I start Resevoir 13.


    • I think there are enough obscenely rich people in the world for there to be more of these prizes where a win means that an author can take time away from paid work to write another book. Here in Australia it took an author who beggared herself in the last years of her life to set up our most prestigious prize, and let’s face it, she would have been forgotten by now if she hadn’t. Setting up a really good prize offers immortality!


  6. Oh, yes, that is a shame . . . no Aussies or Kiwis. The pool is enormous, I gather.


    • Hi Karenlee, yes, it was this year, and they’re calling for more libraries to join so it may grown even bigger!


  7. I too have read five, and all were good reads. Could Jon McGregor win it a second time. I cannot get Compass from my library, but I have reserved the other four. I like the Dublin Literary Award, as I usually agree with the selections – lol.


    • I keep thinking that I’ve got Compass, but no, I’ve got one of his earlier novels, as recommended by Stu from Winston’s Dad, and I really should read that before I get this other one.
      Yes, I agree that this is an award that goes to books I’ve liked: I guess librarians know from the feedback that they get, which books are good reading. I know I earbash my librarians about the books I read!


  8. I had to laugh when I read your last sentence: “Setting up a good prize offers immortality.” In Pink Mountain on Locust Island I found this quote: “…I’ don’t know why nobody wants to make art about me.
    [re: ..set up a literary prize in my name}
    She says that there’s no bigger sin than to think of yourself a something that lasts beyond the time you die.”
    I’m still waiting for the Jeff Bezos Literary Award! He’s worth 100 billion (even after his divorce). We’ll never forget the man who gave us Amazon!


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