Digging into the 2013 IMPAC Longlist

By posted at 8:00 am on November 13, 2012 1

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has unveiled its massive 2013 longlist. Recall that libraries around the world can nominate books for the prize, and these nominations, taken together, comprise the longlist. This year there are 154 novels on the list, nominated by 120 libraries in 44 countries. All of the books must have been published in English in 2011 (including translations).

Because of the award’s global reach and egalitarian process, it’s always interesting to dig deeper into the longlist. Taken as a whole, the literary tendencies of various countries become evident, and a few titles recur again and again, revealing which books have made a global impact on readers.

Overall favorites: books that were nominated by at least seven libraries.

covercovercoverThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (15 libraries representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United States)

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (9 libraries representing Belgium and the United States)

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (9 libraries representing Canada, Ireland, and the United States)

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (9 libraries representing Austria, Ireland, Norway, and the United States)

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje (7 libraries representing Belgium, Canada, and the United States)

The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst (7 libraries representing Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, Greece, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States)

You can also look at the list and see which books are favorites in different countries. Several books were nominated by multiple libraries in the same country. Here’s a few:

covercovercoverIn Canada, Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

In Australia, Autumn Laing by Alex Miller

In New Zealand, The Conductor by Sarah Quigley

In the Netherlands, Julia by Otto de Kat, The Book of Doubt by Tessa de Loo, and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa

There were also several countries with only one library nominating just one or two books. Here are a few of those:

covercovercoverFrom Iceland, The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma

From India, The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya

From Jamaica, The Goat Woman of Largo Bay by Gillian Royes

From Mexico, My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec

From Sweden, The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson

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One Response to “Digging into the 2013 IMPAC Longlist”

  1. Steve Himmer
    at 9:14 am on November 13, 2012

    There are more books I’ve read and been impressed by on this list than any other prize list in recent memory — those by Kevin Barry, Jean Echenoz, Jean-Phillipe Toussaint, Kjersti Skomsvold, Magnus Mills, Sjön, and a couple of others. Who knows if any of them will make the next round, but it’s heartening to see them noticed, at least.

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