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The 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Shortlist

I’m not entirely sure why—maybe it’s the absurdly long longlist, or the unparalleled eclecticism (re: poorly designed) of the prize’s website, or the fact that this prize is sponsored by the “World’s Leading Specialists in Management Productivity Improvement” (productivity improvement that starts with coming up with short, catchy name)—but I never feel like I give this prize as much credit as it deserves.

On the whole, it’s a Pretty Big Deal, and not just because the winner receives 100,000 euros. (Which is split 75-25 in favor of the author in the case of translations.) It’s also one of the few prizes for which translated literature is eligible, and one of the only ones where all of the nominations come from librarians. All cool stuff. And the past winners of this award (click there—really, just click so that you can understand my browsing frustration with this site, I mean, you could at least list the names of the winners here with links to click for more info) are pretty solid. In fact, one could make the argument that winning the 2007 award was one of the things that helped launch Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses into the minds of English readers everywhere.

So, anyway, all that’s a prelude to say that the shortlist was announced today. A diverse, pretty solid shortlist, with a number of critically acclaimed book and three translations. (Two of these: The Twin and The Elegance of the Hedgehog were longlisted for the BTBA award.) Here’s the complete list of 10:

  • The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Dutch)
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Moroccan / French)
  • In Zodiac Light by Robert Edric (British)
  • Settlement by Christoph Hein (German)
  • The Believers by Zoë Heller (British)
  • Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (Irish)
  • God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin (British)
  • Home by Marilynne Robinson (American)

The winner will be announced on June 17th.

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