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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dublin Literary Award Winner

Today the winner of the Dublin Literary Award was announced:  Akhil Sharma for Family Life

We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them. Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Ajay, the family’s younger son, prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family’s new life. Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival (https://www.amazon.ca/Family-Life-Novel-Akhil-Sharma-ebook/dp/B00FQUDT66/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465524496&sr=8-1&keywords=family+life).

The Award, presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English, aims to promote excellence in world literature.  Nominations are submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world; to be eligible for the 2016 prize, books must be of high literary merit and must have been first published in English or in English translation in 2014. At €100,000, this is the world’s most valuable annual literary prize.

The longlist of 160 books was released on November 13; there were 10 Canadian novels on that list:  http://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/2015/11/2016-international-dublin-literary.html.