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‘The Art of Losing’ wins 2022 Dublin Literary Award

The Art of Losing by French author Alice Zeniter, translated by Irishman Frank Wynne (Picador), has won the €100,000 (A$147,400) Dublin Literary Award, the world’s richest prize for a single novel published in English, reports the Irish Times.

Zeniter receives €75,000 (A$112,900) and Wynne receives €25,000 (A$37,600).

Dublin Lord Mayor and patron of the award Alison Gilliland said: ‘With its themes of colonisation and immigration, The Art of Losing, which follows three generations of an Algerian family from the 1950s to the present day, highlights how literature can increase our understanding of the world.’

Zeniter said: ‘When I was writing The Art of Losing, I was almost certain that it was a niche novel. This book’s life, even five years after its release, keeps surprising me. I am really happy and thrilled that the Dublin Literary Award shows me today that this story can be shared with readers from different countries, readers who grew up outside the French post-colonial Empire. Readers that, maybe, had never thought about Algeria before opening the book. How crazy is that?’

The Irish Times reports that Wynne’s previous win in 2002, as translator of Atomised by Michel Houellebecq (Vintage), enabled him to become a full-time translator.

Wynne said: ‘In a very real sense, I owe my career as a literary translator to the Dublin Literary Award, a prize I cherish because it makes no distinction between English and translated fiction, treating authors and translators as co-weavers of the endless braid of literature.’

Nominated by Bibliothèque publique d’information, in the Pompidou Centre, Paris, The Art of Losing was chosen from a shortlist of six that included Aotearoa New Zealand writer Catherine Chidgey’s novel Remote Sympathy (Te Herenga Waka University Press/Europa Editions).

The Dublin Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English, nominated by library systems in major cities around the world. First established in 1994, the award is now wholly funded by Dublin City Council.

Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli won the 2021 Dublin Literary Award for her novel Lost Children Archive (Fourth Estate). For more information about this year’s winner, see the prize’s website.


Category: International news