Mexican author Valeria Luiselli has won the €100,000 Dublin Literary Award for her novel Lost Children Archive (4th Estate), the world's most valuable prize for a single novel published in English.
The award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities across the globe. The winner was announced on 20th May at a special online event, at the opening of the International Literature Festival Dublin.
Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and non-fiction, her novel, which also won last year's Rathbones Folio Prize, follows an artist couple who set out with their two children on a road trip from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer.
She said: “I can say, without a hint of doubt, that without books—without sharing in the company of other writers’ human experiences—we would not have made it through these months. If our spirits have found renewal, if we have found strength to carry on, if we have maintained a sense of enthusiasm for life, it is thanks to the worlds that books have given us. Each time, we found solace in the companions that live in our bookshelves.”
Previous winner Colm Tóibín said: “Luiselli has written a novel in which stories spiral. She has rendered her characters with astonishing grace and insight, and through them she has drawn a picture of what they have been driving towards throughout the book, the contested place, where the old rules do not apply, for which a new form of archive is needed.”
The book was picked from a shortlist featuring Bernardine Evaristo's Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton), Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury Publishing), Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo Editions), On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Jonathan Cape) and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Fleet).
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