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Literature Ireland Nomination for European Union Prize for Literature 2022

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Wordspark

ADRIAN WHITE

From Literature Ireland:

Literature Ireland is pleased to announce its nomination of the Irish-language novel Madame Lazare by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, published by the Barzaz imprint at Futa Fata, for the European Union Prize for Literature 2022. This is the first time that an Irish-language title has been nominated.

The prize, administered by the Federation of European Publishers in Brussels, celebrates the wealth and diversity of emerging fiction across Europe and promotes the circulation of literature within Europe. It is open to the 41 countries in the Creative Europe programme and, each year, one third of these member countries competes by nominating a work of literature. The 2022 nominating body for Ireland was Literature Ireland, the national organisation which promotes Irish literature abroad. The other countries represented in this round include Ukraine, Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Norway, North Macedonia, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Georgia, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Austria.

Speaking at the announcement of the nominations, the director of Literature Ireland, Sinéad Mac Aodha, said: “As Europe is shaken by the Russian attacks on Ukraine and by the greatest threat to European democratic values this century, it seems entirely fitting to celebrate the power of the creative imagination and the ability of fiction to foster mutual understanding and to unite people.

“Madame Lazare by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin is a perfect example of a book which can do this. Spanning three generations, its sphere of reference ranges from the Aran Islands in the Atlantic to Brussels and Paris in the heart of Europe and as far east as Estonia. This most European of books focuses on questions of language, identity, war, migration, memory and loss, subjects which are all the more compelling in the context of the current crisis. Literature Ireland is proud to have nominated Madame Lazare, written and published in Connemara in the very west of Europe, for this major European prize. We wish the author and the book every success and hope that Madame Lazare will reach and touch the hearts of readers right across Europe.”

Reacting to the nomination, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin said: “I’m truly delighted that my novel has been selected to represent both my country and the language in which I work at the European Union Prize for Literature. It’s truly a great honour to be one of fourteen fiction writers across the continent whose work is being introduced by the prize to a wider international readership.”

A seven-member European jury will now select an outright winner and recognise five other titles for special mention. The prize will be announced on 21 April at the Paris Book Festival.

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