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International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

shortlisted books

On the 17th of June the 20th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards will be held in Dublin. On the 15th of April 10 novels from a list of 142 novels were short-listed for the finals. The first International IMPAC Award was launched by Dublin City Council on the 7th of April 1995. The initiative is to give one author, for a single work of fiction, published in English, a prize that is worth €100,000 and it is considered the world’s most valuable literary award.

Every year the International IMPAC Award gives the author of the winning English novel a prize, encouraging world literature and allowing for novels that have been written in other languages to be translated into English. The IMPAC Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service and this year, libraries from around the world, 114 different cities and 39 countries, selected novels to be short-listed. Out of the short-listed novels, three translated novels from Brazil, France and Morocco were short-listed and also novels from Australia, Nigeria, the UK and the USA.

Only one Irish author, Colum McCann, out of five Irish authors’ who were listed on the long-list, made it to the final. Colum McCann is a former winner and has his novel TransAtlantic short-listed and will compete for this prestigious Award on the 17th of June. Colum McCann won the prize for his novel Let the Great World Spin in 2011.

books

“The titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. This is a list of high quality literature, with three novels in translation, which might not otherwise be brought to the attention of readers. I am delighted to see a Dubliner’s name included on the list – Colum McCann,” said Lord Mayor Christy Burke, Patron of the Award, who will announce the winner on the morning of the 17th of June.

The final will be judged by a panel of 5 judges who will choose one of 10 authors to become the winner of this year’s 20th IMPAC Award and will be chaired by non-voting Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan. He is a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and published his first novel, The Majority Rule, in 2005. He works for a law firm when he is not called to the bench.

Margaret Hayes work as a librarian for Dublin City libraries and spoke about the kind of themes the novels are taking up, and said: “While many of the stories reflect contemporary themes, they bring us characters facing timeless challenges of love and loss of innocence, and isolation. These engaging stories are set against contrasting landscapes which include Brooklyn, Iceland and Lagos.”

The ten novels that were selected for the final Award ceremony were submitted through library systems, from all over the world. Most of the short-listed authors are male, but there are four female novel authors who will be vying for this prize of a life-time. Last year’s winning novel was The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez. Other winning novels include City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (2013), Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor (2012) and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (2011), who is one of this year’s finalists.

This year, five judges will be sitting on the panel. Valentine Cunningham, a literary historian and critic, is a professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University and emeritus Fellow in English Literature at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and will be judging the ten novelists. He is joined by Christine Dwyer Hickey, a Dubliner, who is a novelist and short story writer. Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator and has also been selected for the panel. Novelist and digital writer, Kate Pullinger, Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University, and Jordi Soler, who lives as a journalist and writer in Barcelona, Mexico and Spain, writes for newspapers and magazines, and will join the rest of the panel of judges.

Here are the shortlisted novels:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from Nigerian.
  2. Horses of God by Mahi Binebine from Moroccan.
  3. Harvest by Jim Crace from Britain.
  4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan from Australia.
  5. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent from Australia.
  6. K by Bernardo Kucinski from Brazil.
  7. Brief Loves That Forever by Andreï Makine who is French and Russian born.
  8. TransAtlantic by Colum McCann from Ireland.
  9. Someone by Alice McDermott from America.
  10. Sparta by Roxana Robinson from America.

All the Dublin City Public Libraries have stocked their shelves with the selected novels and it can be borrowed, or it can be viewed on the www.ImpacDublinAward.ie website.

 

 

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