It’s that time of year again: the longlist for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award, the world’s richest literary prize, has been announced.
There are 156 titles on the list — from all corners of the world — all of which have been nominated by librarians, making it a proper “readers’ prize”.
Here are just a dozen titles, which I have reviewed on the blog over the past year or so. Note that inclusion here does not necessarily mean I recommend the book, only that I have read and reviewed it.
The books have been arranged in alphabetical order by author surname. Click on each book title to read my review in full.
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (Ireland)
Rip-roaring and deliciously entertaining read about a writer with questionable ethics.
French Exit by Patrick deWitt (Canada)
Delightfully kooky story about a matriarch fallen on hard times who flees to Paris with her adult son and a talking cat.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canada)
Occasionally preposterous adventure tale focussed on a young slave rescued from a Barbados sugar plantation.
The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Australia)
Award-winning (but poorly written) murder mystery set in the Far North Queensland outback.
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (Australia)
Brash and gritty novel about an aboriginal family fighting to save their land from development.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Australia)
Best-selling tale based on the true story of a Slovakian Jew sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Japan)
An ode to remaining true to your self when the rest of the world sees you as an outsider.
Travelling in a Strange Land by David Park (Ireland)
Evocative and gently written tale of a recently bereaved man driving across the UK in a snow storm to rescue his son who has fallen ill.
Normal People by Sally Rooney (Ireland)
Stylish, award-winning novel that follows an on-off romance between two Millennials over the course of four years.
Lullaby by Leila Slimani (France)
Confronting story that centres around a rather abhorrent crime carried out by a seemingly perfect au pair.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)
A crime story with a difference narrated by an eccentric older woman who lives in a remote Polish village.
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Australia)
Engaging, fast-paced story about a teenage boy on the run across the Australian outback.
The prize shortlist will be published on 2 April 2020, and the winner will be announced on 10 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?