Scholastique Mukasonga

Scholastique Mukasonga

Scholastique Mukasonga has made the International Dublin Literary Award 2016 shortlist. Also on that list is A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James who won the Man Booker Prize.

Mukasonga’s novel Our Lady of the Nile is one of the 10 shortlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Public Libraries.

The award which was launched in April 1995 is worth €100,000 to the winner and is the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English. If the winning book is a translation, the author receives €75 000 and the translator €25 000 and if Scholastique wins, this will apply as her book was initially written in French.

Some of the previous winner of the award are Harvest by Jim Crace (2015), The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (2014), City of Bohaneby Kevin Barry (2013), Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor (2012), Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (2011), The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (2010), Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas (2009), De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (2008),  and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (2007).

The longlist this year was rich with African names like Zakes Mda for Rachel’s Blue, Mandla Langa for The Texture of ShadowsImraan Coovadia for Tales of the Metric System, Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu for All Our Names, and Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami for The Moor’s Account.

Originally published in 2012, Scholastique Mukasonga’s novel Our Lady of the Nile was translated from French by Melanie Mauthner. It is the story of a school for young girls, called “Notre-Dame du Nil.” The girls are sent to this high school perched on the ridge of the Nile in order to become the feminine elite of the country and to escape the dangers of the outside world. The book is a prelude to the Rwandan genocide and unfolds behind the closed doors of the school, in the interminable rainy season.

The full list of those shortlisted for the prize is;

  • Outlaws  byJavier Cercas (Spanish) Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean
  • Academy Street by Mary Costello (Irish) First Novel
  • Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? byDave Eggers (American)
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (German) Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Jamaican)
  • Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub (Brazilian) Translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa
  • Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga (Rwandan) First Novel. Translated from French by Melanie Mauthner
  • of Speculation byJenny Offill (American)
  • Lila byMarilynne Robinson (American)
  • Family Life  byAkhil Sharma (Indian-American)

The winner of the award selected by the five member international judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan will be announced by Ardmhéara / Lord Mayor, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, Patron of the Award, on Thursday 9th June