The ten-title shortlist for the 2011 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Awards (caps ALL theirs) was announced yesterday.
It’s a strange list, one that, for an international award, is remarkably English . . .
1. Galore by Michael Crummey (Canadian). Doubleday Canada
2. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (American). Faber & Faber, HarperCollins, USA
3. The Vagrants by Yiyn Li (Chinese / American) Random House, USA
4. Ransom by David Malouf (Australian) Random House Australia
5. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Irish) Bloomsbury, UK, Random House, USA
6. Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates (American) Ecco Press, USA
7. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (Australian) Allen & Unwin
8. Brooklyn by Colm Toibín (Irish) Viking UK, Scribner, USA
9. Love and Summer by William Trevor (Irish) Viking, UK
10. After the Fire, a Still, Small Voice by Evie Wyld (Australian) Pantheon Books, USA
Yeah, no, I’m not sure why these are numbered either, since they’re actually in alphabetical order. But regardless, there you are. The winner (my cash is on Colum) will be announced on June 15th and will receive 100,000 euros.
Congrats to Gerbrand Bakker, David Colmer, Archipelago Books, and everyone else involved in the creation, production, and promotion of The Twin, which won this year’s International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2010. (Whew. Exhale.)1
This book has received heaps of deserved praise—it was a NPR pick for Best Foreign Fiction of the Year, A Powell’s Indiespensable Pick, A School Library Journal Best Adult Book for High School Students, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Best Translated Book Award.
Here’s what the judging panel said about this novel:
Though rich in detail, it’s a sparely written story, with the narrator’s odd small cruelties, laconic humour and surprising tendernesses emerging through a steady, well-paced, unaffected style.
The book convinces from first page to last. With quiet mastery the story draws in the reader. The writing is wonderful: restrained and clear, and studded with detail of farm rhythms in the cold, damp Dutch countryside. The author excels at dialogue, and Helmer’s inner story-telling voice also comes over perfectly as he begins to change everything around him. There are intriguing ambiguities, but no false notes. Nothing and no one is predictable, and yet we believe in them all: the regular tanker driver, the next door neighbour with her two bouncing children, and Jaap, the old farm labourer from the twins’ childhood who comes back to the farm in time for the last great upheaval, as Helmer finally takes charge of what is left of his own life.
This is a really incredible book—surprisingly engrossing, very well written, beautifully produced. And available in paperback on July 1st.
Again, congrats to all involved, and it’s fantastic that the IMPAC award continues to bring great attention to really interesting works of international literature.
1 OK, can’t we just shorten this FOREVER to the IMPAC award? Is the rest even necessary? Well, I guess maybe, since the official website is a fucking mess and near mockery of itself. Look, I’m not telling you how to run your award (just how to create a website that doesn’t make me vomit a little bit in my mouth), but as one of the richest literary prizes in the world, don’t you think you could spare a little change to bring your web presence into the 20th century? C’mon, c’mon. BTW, you do fantastic work—keep it up!
The 2009 Shortlist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was announced earlier today. And here are your eight finalists (is there any rhyme and/or reason to this figure? or the enormously long longlist?):
The 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist was announced today, consisting of 137 titles vying for the €100,000 prize.
The Guardian has an interesting summary and breaks the list down a bit, pointing out that the longlist includes books from 45 countries and 15 languages, with 27 of the titles in translation.
Michelle Pauli also points out the odd timing of the IMPAC:
Aside from its remarkable diversity and considerable coffers, the Impac also stands out from the crowd for its long lead-time. Books first published in English between January and December 2005, or first published in a language other than English between January 2001 and December 2005, are eligible for consideration.
It’s really unusual for books to have a second chance in the spotlight, but since this is a library-centric award, it makes sense that longevity is favored over the “of the moment” quality present with other awards.
The shortlist will be announced in April 2008 and the winner in June, so if you’re motivated you could read a healthy chunk of these titles beforehand . . .
Thankfully, this week’s NY Times Book Review includes a review of Norwegian author—and recent IMPAC award-winner— Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses by Thomas McGuane. (Really, who’s more qualified to write about horse related books than McGuane?)
It’s a solid review that ends with this nearly over-the-top sentiment:
This short yet spacious and powerful book — in such contrast to the well-larded garrulity of the bulbous American novel of today — reminds us of the careful and apropos writing of J. M. Coetzee, W. G. Sebald and Uwe Timm. Petterson’s kinship with Knut Hamsun, which he has himself acknowledged, is palpable in Hamsun’s “Pan,” “Victoria” and even the lighthearted “Dreamers.” But nothing should suggest that his superb novel is so embedded in its sources as to be less than a gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.
The first chapter of Out Stealing Horses is also available via the Times website.
(Of course the official IMPAC webpage is for the “2006” award, but whatever, the idea that it’s actually 2007 is unbelievable to me as well.)
The IMPAC prize—which has also been won by Javier Marias, Michel Houellebecq, and Orhan Pamuk—is the largest monetary prize (100,000 euros) for a single work in English.
Out Stealing Horses was the only translation among the finalists, and another of Petterson’s books—In the Wake is a RTW 2007 book.
The June issue of Words Without Borders is now online and features new work from “Those Cool Scandinavians.”
Also included is an excerpt and review of Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses, which recently won the Dublin IMPAC award.
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .