2011 IMPAC Finalists

And in more prize news, the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Award shortlist has been announced.  I’ve read two (the ones with links below).

  • Galore, by Michael Crummey
  • The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Vagrants, by Yiyun Li
  • Ransom, by David Malouf
  • Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
  • Little Bird of Heaven, by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey
  • Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
  • Love and Summer, by William Trevor
  • After the Fire, a Still, Small Voice, by Evie Wyld

For the first time since I started following the prize, there are no books in translation, which is a shame.  Also noteworthy is the inclusion of three Irish writers and three Australian writers.  However, I’m all for their inclusion.  For fun, Malouf won the award in 1996 for Remembering Babylon and Tóibín won in 2006 for The Master.

Of the two I’ve read, I greatly preferred Brooklyn.  I have and am looking forward to Love and Summer, and I have but am not particularly looking forward to Let the Great World Spin.  I’m not particularly interested in The Lacuna, though I do like some of Kingsolver’s other work.

6 thoughts on “2011 IMPAC Finalists”

  1. Graham says:

    The three books on this list I have read are Brooklyn, Love and Summer and The Lacuna, and I really enjoyed all three of them. Could be worth checking out a few others.

  2. A very disappointing list — as weak as the Orange Prize list is strong. I admit to having abandoned Kingsolver and Oates some books ago, but from reviews neither of these rate. And I found the Crummey disappointing.

    In the past two years, the IMPAC has done an excellent job of highlighting a couple of translated works each year (including last year’s winner, The Twin) so that absence is quite notable.

    I’ve read the entire shortlist the last two years but won’t be attempting it this year.

    As a final grouchy comment, they have also increased the “short” list from eight to 10. I don’t think long “short” lists do any author a favor — they only increase that chances of would-be readers saying “I’ll wait to see who wins” before trying any of the volumes.

  3. Trevor says:

    I’m in complete agreement regarding the lack of literature in translation and the longer short list. I wondered if you’d take on the reading this year, Kevin, but I didn’t think you would, and I certainly don’t blame you!

    I’ll try to give Love and Summer its long-awaited read while this award is going on.

  4. My Literary Masters book groups read The Lacuna and Let the Great World Spin this year, and both generated great discussions. Kingsolver isn’t for everyone, but I think The Lacuna is a wonderful book–it’s very literary. One of my very favorite books is Let the Great World Spin, and I think you’re doing yourself a disservice not to read it! I think it’s gorgeous. The writing, the story, the metaphors, the imagery–it really has it all and it is all done so beautifully. The only other one I’ve read from this list is Brooklyn, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  5. Trevor says:

    John Self has posted a great piece at The Guardian about the lack of literature in translation. It has spurred an interesting comment stream. I, of course, agree with him.

  6. Gregory says:

    A VERY interesting list. I’ve read five (Trevor, Oates, Wyld, Malouf, and Toibin) and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I’ll attempt to read the other five.

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