Sweet and Simple Kind

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IMPAC Offers Up Eclectic Shortlist for 2008 Award


The IMPAC Award is one of the more interesting prizes we cover. Its longlist is composed of nominations from dozens of libraries around the world. The upside is that the books are an typically an eclectic bunch (especially in the very long longlist) and that they represent the choices of a very different group from the cadre of critics and literary luminaries that usually decide awards. The downside is that thanks to the award’s arduous process, it is several months behind other prizes in recognizing books. For example, the 2008 award is made up of books published in English in 2006.Tardiness aside, the IMPAC is typically interesting, and this year’s recently unveiled shortlist is no exception. In fact, unlike last year when some quite well-known books made the cut (and Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses took home the prize) this year’s list is devoid of household names and has no overlap with any of the “major” book prize shortlists. Here are the shortlisted books:The Speed of Light by Javier Cercas (at the Complete Review)The Sweet and Simple Kind by Yasmine Gooneratne (interview)De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (Andrew’s review)Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones (review in The Guardian)Let it be Morning by Sayed Kashua (review in the Boston Review)The Attack by Yasmina Khadra (excerpt, at the Complete Review)Winterwood by Patrick McCabe (review in The Guardian)The Woman who Waited by Andrei Makine (review in the New York Times)

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