Awards: Dublin Literary, Ernest J. Gaines Winners

Solenoid by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter (Deep Vellum) has won the €100,000 (about $108,360) Dublin Literary Award, which is sponsored by Dublin City Council to honor a single work of fiction published in English. The announcement was made as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin. Nominations are chosen by librarians and readers from a network of libraries around the world. The author, who is Romanian, receives €75,000 (about $81,270), and the translator, who is American, receives €25,000 (about $27,090).

The judging panel commented: "By turns wildly inventive, philosophical, and lyrical, with passages of great beauty, Solenoid is the work of a major European writer who is still relatively little known to English-language readers. Sean Cotter's translation of the novel sets out to change that situation, capturing the lyrical precision of the original, thereby opening up Cărtărescu's work to an entirely new readership."

Cărtărescu called winning the award "one of the most significant achievements in my whole literary career, and a great honour for me. It shows an increase in my image as a writer in the English-speaking world after the publication of Solenoid, my breakthrough novel. I am grateful to the jury who chose my book from so many other wonderful ones."

Cotter said, "The Dublin Literary Award awards translators alongside authors, a choice as unusual as it is necessary. I am honored to be recognized with as great an author as Mircea, from as great a literature as the Romanian, and I hold in my heart the community of Romanian translators, all those who translate the world's smaller literatures, all those who translate."


Temple Folk by Aaliyah Bilal (Simon & Schuster) has won the $15,000 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which is given to an emerging African American fiction writer, celebrates the legacy of the late Ernest Gaines, and is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Organizers said that the winning short story collection "portrays the lived experiences of Black Muslims grappling with faith, family, and freedom in America. Through her narrative, Bilal offers a poignant look at the discrepancies between personal beliefs and actions. Temple Folk presents humanity's moral failures with compassion, nuance, and humor to remind us that while perfection is what many of us strive for, it is errors that make us human."

Bilal commented: "I am especially proud to be associated through this award with the legacy of Mr. Gaines, as his oeuvre informs my ambition to tell timeless stories in plain spoken, elegant prose. Mr. Gaines teaches us how to do this sacred work with grace, grit, and love."

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