José Eduardo Agualusa has won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award for his novel A General Theory of Oblivion, translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. The Angolan author scooped the €100,000 (£88,000) prestigious literary award which is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English.
A General Theory of Oblivion tells the story of a traumatised woman who retreats from the world during Angola’s civil war and has been described as “a remarkable novel from one of Angola’s most notable storytellers”. The novel was translated by British writer Daniel Hahn, who has worked with Agualusa on five other books. The two will share the prize money, with €25,000 going to Hahn.
The winner was decided from a shortlist of 10 novels including:
Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Mozambican)
The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish )
The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Danish/Norwegian)
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American)
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian-American)
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish)
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austrian)
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (American)