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

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.

Emily Ruskovich is the fourth American author to win the prize in its 24-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 this evening, which was live-streamed on the International Dublin Literary Award Facebook page to allow people from across the world to tune in to the event.

The numbers who tuned in were not massive with a little under 1,000 on the direct facebook link but the positioning of Dublin as a literary centre is worth far more than the cost of the sponsorship and the value in terms of the City backing the prize remains high.

Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo Mountain. The winning novel was chosen from a total of 141 titles, nominated by libraries in 115 cities across 41 countries. It was first published by Chatto & Windus in the UK and by Random House in the USA.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to be the recipient of this astonishingly generous award,” said Ruskovich.

“It is difficult to know how to respond to the magnitude of this kindness that has been so suddenly bestowed upon me. I feel shocked. I feel humbled. 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 International Dublin Literary Award is a great Dublin success and an even greater international success, our thanks go to all who are involved in making the Award work – writers, translators, publishers, librarians, and the administrative staff of the City Council,” said newly elected Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe.

The prize money was presented by Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of the Award’s founders and sponsors, Dublin City Council. The Award is a key part of the City’s work in promoting Dublin as a UNESCO City of Literature, and as a great place for people to live, work in, and visit.

Copies of the winning novel, the shortlisted books and the full list of novels nominated for the 2019 award are available to borrow from Dublin Public libraries.

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