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Thursday 23 November 2017

Fritzl case novel is tipped for €100,000 book prize

John Spain Books Editor

A NOVEL inspired by the horrors of Josef Fritzl is one of the hot favourites for the world's most valuable annual literary prize.

Author Emma Donoghue joins fellow Irish writers Tana French and Paul Murray among the 147 long-listed for the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The full long-list for next year's €100,000 prize will be revealed later today at a ceremony in Dublin City Library.

The appearance of Donoghue's novel 'Room' on the long-list is unsurprising since it has been an international best-seller -- and the IMPAC nominations come from libraries around the world.

The story of a little boy and his mother trapped in a room was inspired by the Fritzl case in Austria, where a daughter was held against her will in an underground cellar and forced to commit incest.

This month, sales of the novel reached one million copies and a movie is on the way. Given the huge impression it has made on readers in so many countries, it is likely to be one of the favourites to take the IMPAC next year.


'Room' received the greatest number of nominations from libraries worldwide for the 2012 award, with 20 nominations.

It is by far the most popular book on the long-list among readers, but the IMPAC judges will make their own decision.

The other two Irish novels to make the long-list are 'Faithful Place' by Tana French and 'Skippy Dies' by Paul Murray.

Former Trinity student French hit the big time with her debut thriller 'In The Woods' and her latest is another bestseller both in Europe and the US.

Dublin writer Murray, also a Trinity graduate, had huge success with 'Skippy Dies', a big comic novel set in a fictional Dublin boarding school for boys. It was long-listed for the Man Booker and has won international acclaim.

The three Irish novels will be serious contenders for the IMPAC. But there are some strong rivals on the long-list, including 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' by Jennifer Egan, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; 'The Memory of Love' by Animatta Forna, winner of the 2011 Commonwealth Writer's Prize; and 'Cool Water' by Dianne Warren, winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada last year.

The award is organised by Dublin City Libraries and supported by the IMPAC management consultancy.

The full long-list for the 2012 award can be viewed on

Irish Independent

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