13 April 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments [1]

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.

21 June 10 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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!

2 April 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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?):

  • Ravel by Jean Echenoz, translated from the original French by LInda Coverdale
  • The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the original Norwegian by Don Shaw and Don Bartlett
  • Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
6 November 07 | Chad W. Post | Comments [1]

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 . . .

25 June 07 | Chad W. Post |

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.

15 June 07 | Chad W. Post | Comment

Yesterday it was announced that Per Petterson had won the IMPAC award for Out Stealing Horses published by Graywolf Press.

(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.

15 June 07 | Chad W. Post |

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.

....
Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Reviewed by Will Eells

Floating around the internet amid the hoopla of a new Haruki Murakami release, you may have come across a certain Murakami Bingo courtesy of Grant Snider. It is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s funny because it’s true,. . .

Read More >

The Matiushin Case
The Matiushin Case by Oleg Pavlov
Reviewed by Brandy Harrison

The publisher’s blurb for Oleg Pavlov’s The Matiushin Case promises the prospective reader “a Crime and Punishment for today,” the sort of comparison that is almost always guaranteed to do a disservice to both the legendary dead and the ambitious. . .

Read More >

Fear: A Novel of World War I
Fear: A Novel of World War I by Gabriel Chevallier
Reviewed by Paul Doyle

One hundred years have passed since the start of World War I and it is difficult to believe that there are still novels, considered classics in their own countries, that have never been published in English. Perhaps it was the. . .

Read More >

Little Grey Lies
Little Grey Lies by Hédi Kaddour
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

In the London of Hédi Kaddour’s Little Grey Lies, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan, peace has settled, but the tensions, fears, and anger of the Great War remain, even if tucked away behind stories and lies. Directly ahead, as those. . .

Read More >

Autobiography of a Corpse
Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Reviewed by Simon Collinson

One of the greatest services—or disservices, depending on your viewpoint—Bertrand Russell ever performed for popular philosophy was humanizing its biggest thinkers in his History. No longer were they Platonic ideals, the clean-shaven exemplars of the kind of homely truisms that. . .

Read More >

A Musical Hell
A Musical Hell by Alejandra Pizarnik
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The best way to review Alejandra Pizarnik’s slim collection, A Musical Hell, published by New Directions as part of their Poetry Pamphlet series, is to begin by stating that it is poetry with a capital P: serious, dense, and, some. . .

Read More >

Astragal
Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .

Read More >