Five Irish novels have been long-listed for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary award, announced today at a ceremony in the Dublin City Library.
The Irish titles are The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce nominated by Galway County Library; , The Guts by Roddy Doyle, nominated by Liverpool City Libraries, UK; TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, nominated by Dublin and Water City Public Libraries as well a number of libraries in Canada, USA and the UK; The Rising of Bella Casey by Mary Morrissey nominated by Cork City Libraries and Dublin City Libraries and The Thing About December by Donal Ryan, nominated by Limerick City Library.
They will be up against competition from The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan – winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, winner of the 2013 National Book Award.
They were amongst a total of 142 books nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 award, which is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English.
Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian said the list of books was nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide; Some 49 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages, with 29 first novels.
Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke launched the 2015 award today, saying IMPAC puts Dublin on the literary world map.
“Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and cultural tourism is a vital part of the City’s economy,” he said.
“Initiatives such as this award, the Dublin Writer’s Festival and One City, One Book have consolidated Dublin’s position as a centre of literary excellence on the world stage.”
Judges on the 2015 panel include Irish novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2012 for The Cold Eye of Heaven; Valentine Cunningham, Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University; Daniel Hahn, award-winning translator and writer; Kate Pullinger, Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University and Jordi Soler, Mexican author. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R Sullivan of the USA.