Dah Duit (Hi) and welcome

Five Irish novels long-listed for prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary award

Nicola Anderson

The Irish titles are The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce nominated by Galway County Library;  The Guts by Roddy Doyle, nominated by Liverpool City Libraries, UK; TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, nominated by Dublin and Water City Public Libraries as well a number of libraries in Canada, USA and the UK; The Rising of Bella Casey by Mary Morrissey nominated by Cork City Libraries and Dublin City Libraries and The Thing About December by Donal Ryan, nominated by Limerick City Library.
They will be up against competition from  The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan – winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, winner of the 2013 National Book Award.
They were amongst a total of 142 books nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 award, which is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English.
Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian said the list of books was nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide; Some 49 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages, with 29 first novels.
Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke launched the 2015 award today, saying IMPAC puts Dublin on the literary world map.
“Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and cultural tourism is a vital part of the City’s economy,” he said.
“Initiatives such as this award, the Dublin Writer’s Festival and One City, One Book have consolidated Dublin’s position as a centre of literary excellence on the world stage.”
Judges on the 2015 panel include Irish novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2012 for The Cold Eye of Heaven; Valentine Cunningham, Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University; Daniel Hahn, award-winning translator and writer; Kate Pullinger, Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University and Jordi Soler, Mexican author. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R Sullivan of the USA.

Lecture explores role of Irish literature in world

Clare Kossler

Ph.D. candidate Kara Donnelly discussed the role of Irish literature relative to other literary genres in the lecture “Contemporary Irish Novels and World Literature in English: The Case of the Irish Booker” at Flanner Hall on Friday.
Donnelly said she wanted to examine specifically the influence of Irish literature on the world stage.
“Today I’d like to ask the following question: ‘What is the relationship between Irish literature and world literature in English?’” she said. “This question isn’t simply, ‘Can I get a job in one of those fields?’… Rather, my question is when an Irish author is active in international literary culture, how is she perceived and classified?”
Donnelly said addressing this question requires an awareness of the role of Irish literature in commonwealth and post-colonial literature, both of which were intrinsic to the development of world literary studies.
Irish literature was an antecedent and “role model” to commonwealth literature, which in turn was a “precursor to post-colonial studies and then to global Anglophone literary studies,” Donnelly said.
Many of the anti-imperial and anti-establishment themes of modern Irish literature were embodied in commonwealth and post-colonial literary studies, and Irish literature contributed to the development of world literature as a whole, she said.
“Indeed, the Irish authors were part of the internationalizing trend,” she said.
Donnelly said part of the international success of Irish literature can be attributed to the Man Booker Prize, an award which “aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland,” according to the prize’s website.
The significant number of Irish novelists who have won the award have enhanced the presence of Irish literature in international circles, a demonstration of “the globalization of the publishing industry,” Donnelly said.
Irish literature is fundamentally distinct from commonwealth and post-colonial literature, as well as the broader category of world literature in English, however, Donnelly said.

“In the discourses about world literature, Irish literature appears both too early and too late,” she said.  “It’s too early in the sense that the oppositional models of world literature look to Irish modernism as antecedents for their anti-imperial politics and aesthetics. It’s too late in the sense that, on the international stage, it loses its national specificity in such a way that it comes across as unmarked.”


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