Friday, April 10, 2020
Emily Ruskovich Hits Jackpot with ‘Idaho’
Saturday, June 15, 2019


Idaho author Emily Ruskovich, who will be speaking at July’s Sun Valley Writers Conference, has won the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award for her novel “Idaho.”

The award, given by the Dublin, Ireland, city council, comes with a prize of 100,000 euros, which currently translates to $112,064 in U.S. dollars. So that means Emily will have some coffee money to plunk down when she comes to Sun Valley.

It is the largest prize for a single novel published in English. Ruskovich is the fourth American author to win the prize in its 24-year history.

Judges chose Ruskovich’s novel from 141 titles, which had been nominated by libraries in 115 cities across 41 countries. The public library in Brugge, Belgium, nominated Ruskovich for the award.

Ruskovich told the city council that she could not express how grateful she was to receive such an “astonishingly generous award.”

“It is difficult to know how to respond to the magnitude of this kindness that has been so suddenly bestowed upon me…I am especially honored because of the admiration that I feel for the other finalists—authors from all over the world who are all doing such crucial and beautiful work,” she said.

“Idaho” is Ruskovich’s debut novel. It’s a novel of love and forgiveness, of memory, loss and grief.

It follows a young music teacher who falls in love with and marries a man whose family has been ripped apart by a tragedy that left one daughter dead, another missing and his ex-wife serving a life sentence for murder. When her husband’s dementia grows, she is left to reconstruct an account of the murder, even as she puts her personal safety at risk.

Ruskovich grew up on Hoodoo Mountain in the Idaho Panhandle. A graduate of the iowa Writer’s Workshop and a winner of a 2015 O’ Henry Award for her story “Owl,” she teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Boise State university.

She lives in Idaho City with her husband and infant daughter.

Ruskovich discussed her novel in 2017 at Ketchum’s Community Library.


Look for 2019 Single Event Tickets for the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference Pavilion talks to go on sale at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19. See for more information.



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