Indian-American author Akhil Sharma has won the 2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award for his novel, Family Life, beating out nine other writers – including Dave Eggers, Marlon James, and Marilynne Robinson for the €100,000 ($114,000) prize. Sharma was presented with the award at Dublin’s Mansion House by Críona Ní Dhálaigh, the city’s Lord Mayor.
Accepting the prize, Sharma said “Someone asked me what I’ll do with the money. I’ll use it to write my next book. Writers are like drug addicts that way. You give a drug addict money, they buy drugs. You give a writer money, they’ll use it to write a book.” The International DUBLIN Literary Award – the richest literary prize in the world — is sponsored by Dublin City Council, and is open to writers worldwide. It recognizes works of fiction which have been nominated by public libraries around the globe. Previous winners include Colm Tóibín, Michel Houellebec, Orham Pamuk, and Jim Crace. Akhil Sharma is the first American winner of the Award since Michael Thomas in 2009. This year the longlist of 160 titles was whittled down to ten novels by the judging panel.