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The mother of all literary prizes

The International Impac Dublin Award is reputed to be the most eclectic, unpredictable and richest literary prize.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 18:42 IST

After the Booker and the Nobel, now it is time for what is often called the most eclectic and unpredictable, as well as the richest, of the world's literary awards: the 2007 International Impac Dublin Award.

The long list for the€100,000-award (Rs5.7 million) for 2007 has 138 books, including English translations from 28 languages, based on nominations from 169 libraries of 129 cities in 49 countries.

Those on the list include Nobel laureates like J M Coetzee (Slow Man) and Nadine Gordimer (Get a Life), Booker winners like Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Crown) and Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go) as well as acclaimed names like André Brink and Margaret Atwood (The Penelopiad).

The list, drawn from titles published in English between January and December 2005, also has some recent works of fiction that won praise from critics and readers alike: Ian McEwan (Saturday), John Banville's (The Sea), Zadie Smith (On Beauty), Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore), Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies).

Nobel laureate J M Coetzee is one of the short-listed writers for the 2007 award

Sara Banerjee (Waiting Time), an Indian-born British writer, has been nominated by Gateshead Libraries and Arts, England, while Siddharth DebAnOutline of the Republic), another Indian-born author, has been nominated by LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee, US.

A first novel from a Kathmandu author, Echoes of Pain by Ravi Thapaliya, has been nominated by the national library of Nepal.

The shortlist of up to 10 novels will be announced April 4 next year, and the winner on June 14.

The award, administered by Dublin City Public Libraries, is instituted by Dublin City Council, the Municipal Government of Dublin City, and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company.

Its website says it is the largest and most international prize of its kind, involving libraries from all corners of the globe, and is open to books written in any language.

The previous winners include this year's Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk for "My Name is Red", Colm Toíbín ("The Master"), Tahar Ben Jelloun ("This Blinding Absence of Light") and Michel Houellebecq ("Atomised").

--Indo-Asian News Service


First Published: Nov 21, 2006 18:42 IST