Jonathan Escoffery

Jonathan Escoffery on Dublin International Literary Award 2024 shortlist

Jonathan Escoffery’s novel If I Survive You is on the shortlist of the Dublin International Literary Award 2024 announced on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

The Dublin International Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English to promote excellence in world literature. The prize worth €100,000 is sponsored by the Dublin City Council, Ireland. If the winning book is a translation the prize is divided between the writer and the translator, with the writer receiving €75,000 and the translator €25,000. Writers of African descent like Percival Everett, David Diop and Akwaeke Emezi, Scholastique Mukasonga, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Mahi Binebine, and Aminatta Forna and Noviolet Bulawayo, Mia Couto, Chinelo Okparanta, and Yewande Omotoso have been in the running. Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa won the award in 2017.

The jury for 2024, announced in November, is comprised of Professor Chris Morash (chair), Irenosen Okojie, Daniel Medin, Ingunn Snædal, Anton Hur, and Lucy Collins. The longlist from 70 books nominated by 80 libraries from 35 countries was revealed in January before the shortlist which included Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You was announced on Tuesday.

The prize organisers said, “Six novels have been shortlisted for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council, which celebrates excellence in world literature. Now in its 29th year, this award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English, worth €100,000 to the winner.”

The nominating library commented, “Jonathan Escoffery masterfully creates memorable characters who wrestle the eternal themes of brother against brother; fate against determination; privilege versus lack; self-love versus self-loathing. Where is home? What are you?, propel Trelawny from his birthplace, Miami, to his ancestral home, Kingston, to America’s heart of whiteness (Midwest), and connect him with the stories of Cukie, Carlos, Mikey (the eternally optimistic and eternally ill-fated), to the awful, yet not so awful duo of Morgan and Tim. Escoffery’s skillful use of language and insight into the human heart and mind; into family dynamics, and into the irrational relationships and intra-relationships between people of colour and white people make every last one of his characters very credible— even the ones who have one line. He leaves the reader with the thought: Heaven help us all.”

Jonathan Escoffery said, “All my appreciation & thanks to the nominating librarians and the judges ❤️❤️❤️”

The winner will be made public at a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday, May 23.

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