Portuguese writer Antonio Lobo Antunes poses during the presentation of his latest book, titled 'De la naturaleza de los dioses' (lit.: Of the nature of the gods) at La Pedrera building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 26 November 2019. The book investigates moral dilemmas of power and corruption. EPA/Toni Albir

Portuguese author on Dublin Literary Award longlist

Portuguese author António Lobo Antunes has been selected among 49 nominees for the Dublin International Literary Award 2021, for his book ‘Until Stones Become Lighter Than Water’, the organisation revealed on Thursday. 

The Dublin Literary Award, now in its 26th year, is one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, and is sponsored by the Dublin City Council.

“With a prize money of €100,000, the Award is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English,” reveals the Dublin Literary Award website.

Works are nominated by libraries across 30 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, South America and New Zealand.

When the book has been translated, the author receives €75,000, and the translator receives €25,000.

António Lobo Antunes’ book, Until stones become lighter than water, was published in Portugal in 2017, and explores the Portuguese colonial war in Angola. 

In a chronicle with the same title published in 2016 in local magazine Visão, the author wrote: “My job is to write until the stones become lighter than water. I don’t do novels, I don’t tell stories, I don’t intend to entertain, nor be fun, nor be interesting: I just want the stones to become lighter than the water.”

Bernardine Evaristo (Booker Prize), Fernando Aramburo (National Narrative Prize) and Colson Whitehead (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) are also among the 49 nominees for the award. The winner will be announced on May 20.

The list also includes authors Elif Shafak (’10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World’), Colum McCann (‘Apeirogon’), Heather Morris (‘Cilka’s Journey’), Elizabeth Acevedo (‘Clap When You Land’), and Fernanda Melchor (‘Hurricane season’).