Solar Bones wins the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Irish author Mike McCormack has won
the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award for
his novel Solar
Bones. Canongate Books
publishes the UK version of this novel which was first published by
Tramp Press, an independent in Ireland.
The Award is organised and sponsored by Dublin City Council and
at €100,000 is the world's largest prize for a single novel
published in English. Mike McCormack is the fourth Irish author to
win the prize in its 23-year history.
Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public
libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers
and translators. The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin's
Mansion House on 13 June 2018.
Mike McCormack is an award-winning novelist and short story
writer from County Mayo, Ireland. In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney
Prize for Irish Literature and in 2007 he was awarded a Civitella
Ranieri Fellowship. In 2016 he won the Goldsmiths Prize and the
Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for best novel for Solar
Bones. He was elected to Aosdána in May 2018. He currently
lives in Galway, Ireland.
The winning novel was chosen from a total of 150 titles,
nominated by libraries in 111 cities across 37 countries. It
was first published by Tramp Press, an independent Irish
publisher founded by Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen. The shortlist
of ten novels, as chosen by an international panel of judges,
included novels from four continents.
Once a year, on All Souls' Day, it is said in Ireland that the
dead may return. Solar Bones is the story of one
such visit. Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one
afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took
him away and then brought him home again. Funny and strange,
McCormack's ambitious and other-worldly novel plays with form and
defies convention. This profound new work is by one of Ireland's
most important contemporary novelists. A beautiful and haunting
elegy, this story of order and chaos, love and loss captures how
minor decisions ripple into waves and test our integrity every
Commenting on his win, Mike McCormack said: 'I am
delighted to receive this unique prize which continues to
recognise the valuable work of libraries around the world. To
have Solar Bones chosen
from a shortlist with such a broad international
outlook is a special honour indeed. I have always thought that the
inclusion of translated work is a particularly valuable aspect of
the International Dublin Literary Award; these different
voices and the diverse ways in which they tell their
stories ensures that the novel in English does not become dull
or complacent. Long may the prize continue to reach out with such
intellectual and artistic curiosity across the world.'
Solar Bones was nominated by Galway
Libraries and by Nottingham Libraries, who commented:
'A readable, experimental novel set in and described as a hymn
to small town Ireland.
This is such a unique and unusual book that we feel the author
deserves recognition. The novel is written in a single sentence
which could have felt like a literary gimmick but instead comes
across as really accomplished storytelling. In addition to his
distinctive technique McCormack also brilliantly describes the area
in which the book is set, making it a powerful element in the
The 2018 shortlist included six novels in translation
and authors and translators from America, Germany/Ukraine, Ireland,
Italy, Mexico, Norway, South Africa/Nigeria/Barbados, South Korea
and the UK. See the Award website for full details.