Two Dalkey titles in the running for international literary award

Dalkey titles
The first 10 titles in Dalkey’s Library of Korean Literature (photo: LTI Korea)

There’s tough competition, and a longlist of 140 other books including one by JK Rowling, but two Dalkey Archive titles are in the running for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

According to the award’s website:

Nominations are made by libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world. Participating libraries can nominate up to three novels each year for the Award. Over 400 library systems in 177 countries worldwide are invited to nominate books each year. Dublin City Libraries actively seek out and encourage nominations from countries who have not previously nominated books for the award. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.

The two Dalkey titles were nominated by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea Library. And why not blow your own trumpet? Let’s hope the nomination brings the titles (whose translation was sponsored by LTI Korea) to a wider readership.

The two Korean titles on the list, which was announced on 24 November, are Lee Ki-ho‘s At Least We Can Apologise (LKL review here) and Jang Eun-jin‘s No One Writes Back (LKL review here). No One Writes Back was LKL’s book of the year 2013. Here’s an extract from our review:

I can’t remember having cried at the end of a novel before, particularly one in which nothing much happens.

No One Writes Back is a beautiful gem of a work which works its slow magic on you over the course of 152 brief chapters of which the shortest is only three words…

This novel can in fact easily stand on its own without being put in a particular literary context. And unusually for many Korean novels and short stories that have made it into an English translation, it can speak to a world audience without the need for a Korean primer.

We concluded: “Just read it. You won’t regret it.” Let’s hope the judges think the same.

The prize is €75,000 for the author and €25,000 for the translator (which for No One Writes Back would be Jung Yewon, or Christopher J Dykas if At Least We Can Apologise is the lucky winner). The winner also receives a trophy provided by Dublin City Council. The winners will be announced on 17 June 2015.

Source: Subject Object Verb | www.impacdublinaward.ie

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