Four Irish writers have been nominated for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. 156 titles in total have been nominated for the €100,000 award - the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The nominations come from 163 libraries in 123 cities and 43 countries worldwide. The 156 authors come from 46 different countries. 41 of the books are translated from languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Icelandic, Serbian and Slovenian. 33 are first novels. “These are books that might not otherwise come to the attention of Irish readers”, says Deirdre Ellis-King, Dublin City Librarian. “The spread of languages and the number of books in translation continues to grow. This year at 41 novels, we have the largest number of books in translation to date.” The nominated Irish titles are The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (winner of the 2009 Costa Prize); Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (longlisted for the 2009 Man Booker prize); The Truth Commissioner by David Park and Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deirdre Madden. Indian writer Aravind Adiga is the most nominated author with 9 nominations for the Booker Prize winning The White Tiger. A Mercy by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry all received 8 nominations.
Writing in The Irish Times, Eileen Battersby said “where Impac has tended to triumph, and could well do so again this year, is by showcasing the best of international fiction in translation. The readers of the world’s participating libraries have presented the judges with a magnificent list of world-class contenders. The onus is now on that panel to select quality finalists reflective of this extraordinary longlist”. Dublin City Council will announce the shortlist in April 2010 with the winner being announced on 17th June. Previous winners of the prestigious award include: Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas (2009), De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage (2008), Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (2007), and The Master by Colm Tóibín (2006).