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Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright is shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award

Alexis Wright

Giramondo Publishing congratulates Alexis Wright, whose highly acclaimed novel Praiseworthy has been shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award. One of the richest literary prizes in the world, the international award is presented each year to a novel written or translated into English, and aims to promote excellence in world literature.

Praiseworthy is one of six shortlisted books chosen by an international panel of judges from the longlist of 70 books. Wright, a member of the Waanyi nation, is the first Australian to be shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award since Hannah Kent and Richard Flanagan in 2015. 

Praiseworthy has won the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction, and is currently longlisted for The Stella Prize and shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction. It was published last year in the United Kingdom by And Other Stories, and this year in the United States by New Directions. The New York Times has described Praiseworthy as ‘the most ambitious and accomplished Australian novel of this century’.

Read the Dublin Literary Award judges’ comments below.

Alexis Wright’s Praiseworthy is a wonder of twenty-first century fiction. This modernist more-than-an-allegory about a pernicious haze that settles over a northern Australia town yokes a painfully contemporary tale of political, social and climatic disaster to a narrative consciousness embodying 65 000 years of aboriginal survival. Intimate while epic, the family drama at its center reads like chamber music on a symphonic scale. Wright has authored a blisteringly funny book, replete with situations and speech that elicit wild laughter—a laughter through tears we may recognize from our readings of Beckett and Kafka. She has also written a beautiful one: time and again Praiseworthy delivers unforget- table images, from aerial rivers; of dancing butterflies to hordes of stinking donkeys. Startlingly original, fiercely political, uncompromising in every respect, Praiseworthy expands the possibility of the novel form.

The Dublin Literary Award is unique in that books are first nominated by libraries from cities around the world. Praiseworthy was nominated by the National Library of Australia.

The winner will be announced on May 23 at the International Literature Festival Dublin.