Thursday, April 02, 2009

09 IMPAC Dublin Award Shortlist

The shortlist of the 2009
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
was announced this morning by
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Eibhlin Byrne
In The Mansion House

The shortlist was selected from a total of 146 novels nominated by 157 public library systems in 117 cities worldwide. The Award is worth €100,000 and is the world’s most valuable literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.

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  • The Lord Mayor of Dublin and Patron of the Award, Eibhlin Byrne, today officially confirmed the titles on this year’s shortlist, nominated by public libraries in Australia, The USA, Canada, Barbados, Lebanon, England, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, The Czech Republic, Norway and Sweden.

    The short listed titles are:

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Dominican / American) Riverhead Books

    Ravel by Jean Echenoz (French) in translation. The New Press

    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistani / British) Hamish Hamilton / Harcourt / Doubleday Canada

    The Archivist’s Story by Travis Holland (American) Dial Press

    The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles by Roy Jacobsen (Norwegian) in translation. John Murray Publishers

    The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt (American) Bloomsbury Publishing

    Animal’s People by Indra Sinha (Indian / British) Simon &Schuster

    Man Gone Down by Micheal Thomas (American) Grove / Atlantic / Atlantic Books

    American authors feature strongly with four of the eight short listed titles.

    Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People confirm the already established recognition of literature from the East demonstrated by the award in previous years.

    The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles by Norwegian Roy Jacobsen, and Ravel by France’s Jean Echenoz, both in translation, are novels of a quality we have come to expect from two of Europe’s highly skilled craftsmen.

    The five member judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner from the short list which will be announced by The Patron of the Award, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Eibhlin Byrne, on Thursday June 11th 2009.

    The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is a partnership between IMPAC and Dublin City Council. It is presented annually with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature. It is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified time period as outlined in the rules and conditions for the year. Nominations are submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world.

    All the novels nominated can be viewed on

    Recent previous winners of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award include:

    De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (2008) and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (2007)

    The judges are:

    Gabrielle Alioth was born 1955 in Basel, Switzerland, and having studied economics (M.A.) and the history of art, worked in econometric forecasting before emigrating to Ireland in 1984. Her first novel Der Narr (The Fool) was published in 1990. It received the Hamburg literary award for best first novel. Her seventh and most recent novel The Bride from Byzantium appeared in 2008. She also writes children’s and travel books. Gabrielle does extensive reading tours in Europe, India, Canada and the United States. Since 2004 she has been a lecturer at the Lucerne School of Art and Design. She lives in Julianstown, County Meath.

    Rachel Billington worked in television in London and New York before taking up full-time writing. Her first novel All Things Nice is set in New York. She has written nineteen adult novels, four children’s’ novels, five religious books for children and three non-fiction books. Her latest novel, Lies &Loyalties was published in 2008. She has also written and continues to write journalism for newspapers both in the UK and the US, including a three-year stint as a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph.

    Rachel Billington was President of English PEN, the writers’ organisation from 1998-2001 and remains a Vice-president. During her time as President she initiated PEN’s Readers &Writers Programme, which sends books, and writers to meet readers in schools and prisons. She is a Trustee of the Longford Trust, which was set up, in memory of her father, Lord Longford and in 1991 she became a member of the editorial team of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners.

    Vesna Goldsworthy , born in 1961 in Belgrade, was an acclaimed poet and radio presenter when she left Yugoslavia for England in 1986. Since then, she has worked in UK publishing, for the BBC World Service, and as a university teacher. She is currently Reader in English and Creative Writing at Kingston University. She reviews for publications in Europe and North America, and has edited Writing Worlds 1: The Norwich Exchanges (2006), a book of conversations with international writers. Her first book, Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination (Yale, 1998) is on the reading lists of some sixty universities worldwide. Her second, a memoir entitled Chernobyl Strawberries, was published by Atlantic in March 2005 to broad critical acclaim.

    James Ryan is a native of Rathdowney, Co Laois and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. His postgraduate studies focused primarily on creative development. His first novel, Home from England, was published by Phoenix House, London in 1995. Dismantling Mr Doyle followed in 1997 and his third novel, Seeds of Doubt, was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2001. South of the Border, his most recent novel was short-listed fro the 2008 Kerry Group Literary prize. He is a lecturer in the School of English, Drama and Film in UCD, currently directing the postgraduate programme in creative writing.

    Timothy Taylor is an award winning Canadian novelist and journalist. His novels - Stanley Park (2001) and Story House (2006) - were national bestsellers and he has received nominations for numerous literary prizes including the Giller Prize, the Writers Trust Fiction Prize, and both the Vancouver and British Columbia Book Awards. His short story collection Silent Cruise (2002) earned him the Journey Prize and second place in the Danuta Gleed Award, given to the best collection of stories published in Canada in a given year. Taylor is also the winner of three National Magazine Awards. He lives in Vancouver where he splits his time between writing fiction, writing for screen and journalism. He's a contributing editor at enRoute Magazine and Vancouver Magazine, and a columnist for the Globe and Mail.

    Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, non-voting chair of the judging panel, is a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience from sixteen years on the bench. His first novel, The Majority Rules, was published in 2005. His second novel of his political thriller trilogy, The Report to the Judicicary, was published in 2008. Judge Sullivan is currently a senior partner in Freeh Group Intenational, a global consultant group of former judges based in Washington DC: Wilmington, Delaware; London and Rome.

    For further information please contact
    IMPAC Dublin Award Co-ordinator: Sinead Mathews ++353 1 6752460
    IMPAC Dublin Award Press office: Mary Murphy ++353 872336415
    IMPAC Dublin Award Libraries Office: Cathy McKenna ++ 353 1 6744802

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