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 12th) were mostly published in 2013, 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, and the 2014 shortlist is no exception, with each author hailing from a different country and four books in translation among the ten finalists. It is disappointing to see, however, that only two of the ten shortlisters are by women.
The Detour (published in the US as Ten White Geese) by Gerbrand Bakker (After The Dinner: A Round Up of Newly Translated Dutch Fiction)
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Absolution by Patrick Flanery (The Mutability of Truth: An Interview with Patrick Flanery)
A Death in the Family (published in the US as My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Devoutly to Be Wished: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Consummation“)
Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye
Traveler of the Century by Andrés Neuman
The Light of Amsterdam by David Park
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Nick Harkaway’s Year in Reading)
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez