10 books, Book lists

10 books on the International Dublin Literary Award longlist 2017

10-booksIt’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

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

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 Weather

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.

Under major domo minor

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 Room

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

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

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

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

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

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?

15 thoughts on “10 books on the International Dublin Literary Award longlist 2017”

  1. Well the only two I have read are Edna O’Brien which I thought superb though rather harrowing at times and Anne Enright which was good in part but overall rather underwhelming


  2. I’ve read 5. Two, General Theory of Oblivion and The Mersault Investigation were good, but I did have concerns with each personally. I tried Physics of Sorrow but was not in the mood for it at the time so it’s currently shelved. But I am very happy for the publisher, Open Letter. I’m thrilled that Istros Books has 3 titles on the list—I’ve read them all and they are all very good, but challenging reads. I tend to be a huge advocate for indie publishers so seeing two from Seagull Books, one from Biblioasis (which I have but haven’t read) and one from another of my favourite Canadian publishers, Coach House (the Alexis). I have five unread titles from the list on hand. A few may stay that way, but I may try to get 2-3 in sooner rather than later.


    1. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything published by Open Letter, and ditto for Istros Books and Seagull Books, although I am sorely tempted, especially by the latter and knowing how well regarded you view them.


  3. I’ve only read two of these – Salt Creek, which is a truly wonderful read; and The Natural Way of Things, which many thought was terrific but which didn’t gel for me.
    You’ve definitely prompted me to read some of the others (and perhaps buy for a dog-loving friend…). Thanks!


    1. Salt Creek is rather wonderful, isn’t it? I had to get my dad to send me a copy from Oz because it’s not available here, which is such a pity because it really does deserve a wide audience.

      I loved The Natural Way of Things, but the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same books!

      As for the dog books — I rather detested ’15 Dogs’ but ‘Spill Simmer Falter Wither’ is just brilliant.


  4. I tripped over this post, and your site, thanks to AWW re-tweeting this post. I genuinely think it’s a great site. I’m happy to report that I’ve read five of those (mostly the Aussie ones), but I need to track down Edna O’Brien’s. I haven’t heard of that one.


    1. Thanks for your very nice comment and glad you’ve discovered the site. I had problems with the Edna O’Brien — it’s billed as her masterpiece but I beg to differ 😉


  5. I love the IMPAC list longlist – unwieldy but all-encompassing and a useful reminder of books no longer in the publicity glare if they ever were. I’ve only read the Baume and the deWitt from your selection, both of which I loved.


    1. Yes, it’s an interesting prize… so wide-ranging and they’re books that have been selected by librarians based on what’s been read/requested a lot in their libraries so you know these are “popular” books with readers/library users around the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. From your list I’ve only read Fifteen Dogs, which I loved (although I don’t think you did). But I was surprised to see that I’ve read several others from the list, mostly Canadian. Maybe I’ll do up my own list, since this is a rare occurrence. 🙂
    One I’m particularly happy to see on the list is Ledger of the Open Hand by Leslie Vryenhoek – I read it almost a year ago now and it was a 5-star read for me, but has not been getting the attention I think it deserves. I’m also happy to see Birdie, A Measure of Light and The Mystics of Mile End!


    1. As you point out, I wasn’t a fan of ’15 Dogs’ — it was just too surreal for me 😉

      Thanks for the tip off about Ledger of the Open Hand — I will look out for that one, as well as the three other ones you mention. Go Canada!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve only read 3 out of the 147 … Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days (favourite) Hausfrau and Girl on the Train BUT I’ve got quite a few on my TBR – so it’s a timely nudge to address that, although no way I could get through the other 144 by April!


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