Friday, March 17, 2017

Dublin International Literary Award 2018

...yet so little time.
I couldn't pass on the opportunity to blog about our Dublin picks on St. Patrick's Day, could I?
Every year, the RPL Dubliners read literally hundreds of new books and keep notes on our favorites to nominate for the Dublin Literary Award, then get together in the dead of winter and fight to the death over who has the best list. 
Just kidding! We are usually pretty civilized about it. This year we are thrilled to have voted on our obsessive lists of fantastic fiction (published in English for the first time in 2016) and proudly endorse these three picks for the 2018 prize!

Drumroll please:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
A must-read for absolutely everyone, Homegoing is compulsively readable, a finely crafted story of two families separated by oceans, centuries, and slavery. It is an American epic with roots in 18th century Ghana, a sweeping multi-generational family saga that will get into your soul and stay with you forever.

The Nix by Nathan Hill
The Nix presents a political history of Chicago politics from the 1940s to current day with both humor and appropriate darkness. A loaded novel in terms of both plots and characters, The Nix follows Samuel Anderson, an English professor who prefers playing a specific video game, from a time when he is told his mother, Faye, who deserted him as a child,has been arrested for throwing rocks at an extremely conservative presidential candidate. Faye's life, and eventually Samuel's, become intertwined in flashbacks, before the reader views certain parallel circumstances between mother and son, reality and fantasy, and politics and daily life. 

Nathan Hill manages to weave historical and cultural details together in The Nix to present an accurate portrait of not only U.S. politics, but a global study of what makes politicians and their non- followers tick and compete.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Set in New York City in 2007 on the eve of the global financial crisis, a young family from Cameroon  find their immigration status tenuous after Lehman Brothers collapses and Jende loses his job. His heart pulled in two directions, back to his home in Limbe or to stay in New York with his wife and children, Jende and Neni must decide where they belong. Behold the Dreamers is a poignant love letter to home.

Now on to those 2017 books...

Thanks, Dubliners, for your contributions to this wonderfully never-ending process. Keep reading!

High five, Dublin Award committee

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