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Winner of Dublin Literary Award 2024 -Solenoid by Mircea Cărtărescu and translated by Sean Cotter

Dublin City Council announces Solenoid, by Mircea Cărtărescu and  translated by Sean Cotter as winner of the
2024 Dublin Literary Award

Thursday 23rd May 2024: Romanian author Mircea Cărtărescu and American translator Sean Cotter have been announced today as winners of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council, for the novel Solenoid (published by Deep Vellum). The Award is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English.
Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries around the world and recognises both writers and translators. Author Mircea Cărtărescu receives €75,000 and Sean Cotter, as translator, receives €25,000. Solenoid is the 12th novel in translation to win the Dublin Literary Award.
The winning title was announced today at a special event, at International Literature Festival Dublin, which runs until 26th May. Lord Mayor and Patron of the Award, Daithí de Róiste made the announcement and Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens presented the prizes to the winning author and translator at the International Literature Festival Dublin Literary Village in Merrion Square Park.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste said “Solenoid illustrates the elasticity of human imagination where the reader is invited on a fantastical ride with a nameless anti-hero in Bucharest. Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter deserve to win the Dublin Literary Award for this surreal masterpiece in the 21st century.
I’d like to congratulate them both and thank everyone involved in the award – writers, translators, librarians, publishers and the administrative staff of Dublin City Council.”
“I am delighted for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award winners. Solenoid, is the first novel translated from Romanian to win the award since its inception, 29 years ago,” said Richard Shakespeare, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council. “This international award from a UNESCO City of literature, shows the commitment Dublin City Council and its libraries have to uniting readers and story makers across the world.”
Nominated by ”Octavian Goga” Cluj County Library in Romania, the winning novel was chosen from a shortlist of six novels by writers from Canada, Ireland, Australia and the United States.
The longlist of 70 titles was nominated by 80 libraries from 35 countries.
Winner Mircea Cărtărescu commented that “Winning the Dublin Literary Award is 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.”

American translator, Sean 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.”
Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter will appear at the International Literature Festival Dublin, for an in-depth conversation about the novel, with Alex Clark, tomorrow evening (Friday 24th May) at 6pm in Merrion Square Park (Synge stage).

Copies of the winning title are available to borrow from Dublin City Libraries and from public libraries throughout Ireland. Readers can also borrow the winning novel on BorrowBox in eBook format. Further details about the Award and the winning novel are available on the Award website at 

The 2024 Judging Panel, led by Professor Chris Morash of Trinity College Dublin, and includes Ingunn Snædal, Daniel Medin, Lucy Collins, Anton Hur and Irenosen Okojie, 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.”

Watch the Dublin Literary Award 2024 Winner Announcements Highlights

Watch  Dublin Literary Award Winners Mircea Cărtărescu and Sean Cotter In Conversation

Mircea Cărtărescu is a writer, professor, and journalist who has published more than twenty-five books. His work has received the Formentor Prize (2018), the Thomas Mann Prize (2018), the Austrian State Prize for Literature (2015), and the Vilenica Prize (2011), among many others. His work has been translated in twenty-three languages. His novel Blinding was published by Archipelago in Sean Cotter’s English translation.

Sean Cotter is a translator and professor of literature and translation at the University of Texas at Dallas. A previous National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, Cotter is the translator of 11 books, including T.O. Bobe’s Curl and Nichita Stănescu’s Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems, which was awarded the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. His translation of Magda Cârneci’s FEM, a finalist for the PEN Translation Award, was published by Deep Vellum in 2021.

About Solenoid, by Mircea Cărtărescu
Based on Cărtărescu’s own role as a high school teacher, Solenoid begins with the mundane details of a diarist’s life and quickly spirals into a philosophical account of life, history, philosophy, and mathematics. On a broad scale, the novel’s investigations of other universes, dimensions, and timelines reconcile the realms of life and art.

The novel is grounded in the reality of late 1970s/early 1980s Communist Romania, including long lines for groceries, the absurdities of the education system, and the misery of family life.

Combining fiction with autobiography and history, Solenoid ruminates on the exchanges possible between the alternate dimensions of life and art within the Communist present.

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