It’s that time of year again: the longlist for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award, the world’s richest literary prize, has been announced.
There are 147 titles on the list — from all corners of the world — all of which have been nominated by librarians, making it a proper “readers’ prize”.
You may remember that last year I put together a list of books on the 2016 list, which was hugely popular, so I thought I’d do the same again this year. I’ve focused on the titles that come from the countries I like to champion on this blog: Australia, Canada and Ireland.
The books have been arranged in alphabetical order by author surname. Click on each book title to read my review in full.
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis (Canadian)
The winner of the 2015 Giller Prize, this strange and surreal novel follows the antics of 15 dogs who, overnight, are granted the power of language and reasoning and then follows what happens to them.
Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (Irish)
The winner of the 2015 Goldsmiths Prize and my favourite read from last year, this book charts one man’s midlife crisis as he searches for the Irish island he bought years earlier but has never properly visited.
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (Irish)
This beautifully written debut novel follows the up-and-down relationship, over the course of a year, between a troubled man and the viscious rescue dog he has adopted.
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt (Canadian)
This is a dark, often funny, Gothic fairy tale about a young man who experiences many strange things when he begins working for the “majordomo” of a creepy castle in a remote village.
The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish)
A family drama-cum-black-comedy, this prize-winning novel follows the lives of four siblings and their needy, domineering mother over the course of 25 years.
Hope Farm by Peggy Frew (Australian)
This is an engaging story about a 13-year-old girl being brought up in the 1980s by a single mother living in a hippy commune.
The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Australian)
An environmental novel, or perhaps even a cli-fi one, this is a beautifully constructed tale about family secrets, love, loss, parenthood and community set in a rural village in northern New South Wales.
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien (Irish)
War crimes, retribution and justice are the central themes of this novel, which looks at the long-lasting impact of the Siege of Sarajevo and focuses on a (fictional) war criminal who goes in to hiding in a small Irish village.
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Australian)
A superb historical novel, Salt Creek tells the story of one family’s attempt to settle and tame a remote region on the South Australian coast in the mid-19th century, and the dreadful, heartbreaking repercussions that follow.
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Australian)
The winner of this year’s Stella Prize, this anger-fuelled dystopian tale set in the Australian outback focuses on misogyny and sexual shaming.
The prize shortlist will be published on 11 April 2017, and the winner will be announced on 21 June. To find out more, and to view the longlist in full, please visit the official website.
Have you read any of these books? Or others from the extensive longlist?