The Eclectic IMPAC Shortlist Has Arrived

April 12, 2011 | 9 books mentioned 4

The IMPAC Award shortlist was announced today. 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 15th) were all published in 2009, putting the IMPAC more than a year behind other big literary awards. There’s a distinct upside in this. By now, nearly all the shortlisted books are available in paperback in the U.S. The IMPAC also tends to be interesting for the breadth of books it considers.

This year’s shortlist is typically eclectic, representing four countries and ranging from bestsellers, to relative unknowns.


created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. Hey!! Barbara Kingsolver went to school here at Depauw! It is good to see her on the list.

    I will try to check out “Galore” based on the above recommendation.

    Plus, not to be unfun, but hasn’t “Let the Great World Spin” received enough love/attention!?!

  2. Part of me questions how egalitarian the selection method really is. Most of these books already seem to have gotten a lot of attention and critical recognition. If they’re the best books, that’s certainly fine, but I wish selection committees made more of an effort to discover books that aren’t already famous. It just makes me question their methodology.

  3. Michael Crummey’s Galore was my favourite novel of 2009. I am so glad to see it get the recognition it deserves.

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