Posted by: Lisa Hill | September 3, 2020

2020 International Dublin Lit Award

I like the Dublin Lit Award, for the simplest of reasons… I often find that the award throws up titles that are good to read.

There are 10 novels on the shortlist.  The prize is worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator receives €25,000.

The press release tells us that:

The shortlist announced today includes Milkman by Irish author Anna Burns, and 3 novels in translation. The writers, 8 of whom are female, come from Canada, France, India, Iran, Ireland, Poland, the UK and the USA.

The winner will be announced  on Thursday 22nd October, as part of International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin).

The shortlisted titles are:

  • The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (British). Published by Hamish Hamilton Ltd, see my review
  • Milkman by Anna Burns (Irish). Published by Faber & Faber and Graywolf Press, on my TBR.
  • Disoriental by Négar Djavadi (Iranian-French). Translated from the French by Tina Kover. Published by Europa Editions, see my review.
  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canadian). Published by Serpents Tail Ltd., HarperCollins Canada and Alfred A. Knopf, on my TBR, see Janine’s review at The Resident Judge of Port Phillip.
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (American). Published by Algonquin Books, on my TBR.
  • History of Violence by Édouard Louis (French). Translated from the French by Lorin Stein. Published by Harvill Secker, see the review at The Guardian.
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (American). Published by Virago Press Ltd, see Janine’s review at The Resident Judge of Port Phillip and Simon’s at Tredynas Days
  • There There by Tommy Orange (Native American). Published by Harvill Secker, Alfred A. Knopf and McClelland & Stewart Inc, see my review.
  • All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy (Indian). Published by MacLehose Press and Atria Books, see Bill’s review at The Australian Legend
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (Polish). Translated by from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions: I tried this, but abandoned it.  See Kim’s review at Reading Matters.

Since there aren’t any Aussies on the shortlist, I’m barracking for Disoriental!


  1. ‘The Silence of the Girls’ is the only one I’ve read, and I’ve not heard of most of the others. So now I need to investigate….


    • I’m going to add Arundhati Roy’s book to my next book order…


  2. Hi Lisa, I have read a few, There There was probably the best. I did like The Silence of the Girls, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, and An American Marriage was okay. I disliked Milkman. I have not read the others.


    • I am starting to think that I should never have bought Milkman. No one seems to like it…


    • I read Silence of the Girls with our book club and have The Friend on my shelf TBR. Haven’t read Milkman. Have heard mixed reviews. 🤠🐧🌷


      • What did the book club think of it?


  3. I reviewed All the Lives we Never Lived
    Just pointing out it’s NOT by Arundhati Roy.- whose last book was I think The Ministry of Utmost Happiness


    • *smacks forehead*, thanks Bill, I have got those two mixed up before…


  4. I’ve read two of them – Washington Black which I REALLY enjoyed, and The Friend which was OK. Some of these books have been around for a while, haven’t they?


    • Yes, it’s the nature of the beast: the books are nominated by librarians around the world. I’m not sure if there’s a time limit on old favourites, but I think they have to allow for books being released at different times around the world.


  5. An interesting and diverse list by the looks of it. I’ve only read Drive Your Plow… and Washington Black. I keep meaning to read Milkman, which is one of the handful of books I packed in my suitcase when I moved to Perth… maybe I’ll get to it soonish.


    • Well, between us all and the Guardian we’ve got the reviews all covered except for Milkman and An American Marriage. And the latter two have been so widely reviewed it hardly matters.


  6. I love that you have most of them covered by a variety of bloggers … but not the two best known ones. I have wanted to read those two, but I probably won’t get to them now. This is always an interesting prize.

    Liked by 1 person

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