The IMPAC Award shortlist was announced last night. The IMPAC sets itself apart with its unique approach. Its massive longlist is compiled by libraries all over the world before being whittled down by judges. This makes for a more egalitarian selection. It’s also got a long lead time. Books up for the current prize (to be named June 17th) were all published in 2008, putting the IMPAC more than a year behind other big literary awards. There’s a distinct upside in this. By now, all the shortlisted books are available in paperback. We’ve also always found the IMPAC interesting for the breadth of books it considers.
This year’s shortlist is typically eclectic, representing six countries and ranging from bestsellers, to relative unknowns.
- The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (excerpt (pdf), Best Translated Book Award shortlist)
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (excerpt (pdf))
- In Zodiac Light by Robert Edric(Guardian review)
- Settlement by Christoph Hein (at The Complete Review)
- The Believers by Zoë Heller (The Millions Interview)
- Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (O’Neill in our Year in Reading, Garth’s review, Kevin’s review)
- God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin (excerpt)
- Home by Marilynne Robinson (excerpt)