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.
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .