2019 International Dublin Literary Award: American author Emily Ruskovich wins €100,000 prize

American author Emily Ruskovich has won the prestigious 2019 International Dublin Literary Award for her debut novel Idaho.

The €100,000 prize is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English and Emily is the fourth American author to win the prize in 24 years.

Among the ten authors shortlisted for the prize were Irish author Sally Rooney for her novel Conversations with Friends and Northern Ireland author Bernard MacLaverty for his novel Midwinter Break.

Emily Ruskovich, who teaches creative writing at Boise State University and lives in Idaho City with her husband and baby daughter, said she felt “shocked” and “humbled by the “astonishingly generous award”.

She added, “I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of my gratitude. I am especially honoured because of the admiration that I feel for the other finalists, authors from all over the world who are all doing such crucial and beautiful work.

“Seeing my name beside theirs when the shortlist was announced—that alone was one of the greatest honours of my career.”

The novel charts the fortunes of a family in Idaho whose lives are changed one hot August day when something unimaginably shocking happens.

Nominations for the prize are made from public libraries in cities around the world and recognise both writers and translators.

Idaho was chosen from 141 titles nominated by libraries in 115 cities across 41 countries.

The other shortlisted novels came from France, Pakistan, the UK and the USA. One of the novels, Compass by Mathias Énard, was translated from French by Charlotte Mandell.

The winner was announced at a ceremony in the Mansion House in Dublin on Wednesday night.

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