Bernardine Evarist and Colson Whitehead are on the shortlist for the Dublin International Literary Award 2021 announced on March 25, 2021.

The Dublin International Literary Award is awarded annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. The prize worth €100,000, sponsored by the Dublin City Council, Ireland, is the richest prize for one work in or translated into English. African writers like Scholastique Mukasonga, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Mahi Binebine, Aminatta Forna and Noviolet Bulawayo, Mia Couto, Chinelo Okparanta , and Yewande Omotoso have been in the running in the past. The prize went to Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa for his novel A General Theory of Oblivion in 2017.

In 2021, the judging panel comprises Prof Chris Morash the Non-Voting Chair alongside Jan Carson, a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast; David James Karashima, an author, translator, and associate professor of creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo; Lebanese-born, Dr Rita Sakr who lectures in Postcolonial and Global Literatures at Maynooth University; Dr Martín Veiga, a Cork-based Galician poet, translator, and academic who lectures in Hispanic Studies at University College Cork, and Enda Wyley, an Irish poet, author, and teacher who has published six collections of poetry.

The longlist of 49 books nominated by 69 libraries around the world was announced on February 4. The shortlist of six features the following two writers of African descent;

  • Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo,
  • The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead

Patron of the Award, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, praised the Award for breaking down barriers through literature by inviting readers around the world to read books translated from different languages, and cultures: ‘I am so excited about our Literary Award again this year. Literature time and again has one objective, and that is to explore the human condition, teaching us something new about others, and ourselves. These are powerful and timely stories set in both familiar and unfamiliar countries and cultures. I urge everyone to read as many of these thought-provoking books as you can. Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and 20th May’

The winner of the Dublin International Literary Award 2021 will be announced by its Patron, Lord Mayor Hazel Chu on May 20, 2021.