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By Colm Tóibín
Wins 11TH International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Hartford, Connecticut Public Library Picks Winner Again;
Connecticut Young Writers Raithel, Bell at Dublin Festivities

June 13, 2006

The winner of the 11th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2006), the world's richest literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English, was announced today by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Catherine Byrne at 11.30 am in City Hall, Dublin. You may write my discussion post for me if you wish to take part in this contest and have a chance to win.

The winner of the Award is The Master by Colm Tóibín (Picador UK and Scribner USA). The winner was presented with 100,000 Euro by Colm B. Hendrick, President of IMPAC, and a specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The Master was chosen by the judges from an international shortlist of ten novels.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is unique as the original nominations are made by public libraries worldwide and is administered by Dublin City Public Libraries. The 10 shortlisted titles were selected from a longlist of 132, nominated by 180 libraries from 43 countries and from 124 cities; 32 titles were in translation, covering 15 non-English languages.

The Hartford, Ct. Public Library was among those nominating The Master, Previously, Hartford also nominated 2004 winner Orhan Pamuk for My Name is Red.

Also attending the Dublin ceremony were two young writers from Connecticut in the United States. The are John Raithel, 17, of The Woodhall School in Bethlehem, and Britta Bell, 16, of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

The two high school students were awarded the top statewide prizes in prose and poetry June 4 in the ninth annual IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers competition.

Raithel won for his story, "Perimeters." Bell took home the poetry prize for her poem, "Keeping My Father."

At the annual awards dinner June 4 at the Litchfield Inn in Connecticut, both students received tickets for themselves and one parent to Dublin, Ireland, for a week-long, all-expenses paid trip to attend festivities connected with the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Dublin Writers Festival. IMPAC, the worldwide productivity firm, has offices in Litchfield.

Raithel and Bell also were awarded $1,000 in April after being named Litchfield and Hartford County winners, respectively.

The awards dinner featured keynote speakers Vivian Shipley, a poet and professor of English at Southern Connecticut State University, and Emily Dykes, a senior at Montville High School who was the state prose winner in 2004.

The program has given more than $135,000 to teenagers since 1998.

For further information please contact:
The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2006

The Master by Colm Tóibín
Nominated by: (17 Libraries)

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Tweebronnen Openbare Bibliotheek, Leuven, Belgium, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota, Colombia, Cork City Libraries, Ireland, Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland, Limerick City Library, Ireland, Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand, Edinburgh City Libraries & Information Services, Scotland, Cape Town Central Library, South Africa, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton Country, Cincinnati, USA, Hartford Public Library, USA, Kansas City Public Library, USA, Minneapolis Public Library, USA, Free Library of Philadelphia, USA, San José Public Library, USA, Lincoln Library, Springfield, USA

In The Master, Colm Tóibín captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly alive and vibrant in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. It is a powerful account of the hazards of putting the life of the mind before affairs of the heart.

Colm Tóibín is the author of four novels, The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize and the 2001 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona, The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time.
Colm Tóibín is now a Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford University, USA.


'The Master' is a fictionalised study based on biographical material and family accounts of the novelist's interior life from 1895 in London, when his hope of succeeding as a dramatist were dashed by the dazzling success of Oscar Wilde. The book travels seamlessly back and forth through James's life, from his memories of his family in the States and later sojourns in Italy, to his settling in England in a warmly-evoked house in Rye. Hints of James's troubled sexual identity surface occasionally, including his fascination with a young English manservant. He also becomes absorbed in the lives of several spirited but deeply unhappy young women.

This probing portrayal of Henry James is not merely an outstanding narrative. In crisp, modulated writing, it subtly balances a range of devices that leave the reader in no doubt about the accomplishment of this work. For its deftly excavated psychology of the Jamesian childhood and youth, for its quiet revelations of the artist's journey and the emotional and material necessities accompanying this, for the melancholic undertone which surfaces through the probing landscape of this writer's life, 'The Master' is, and will continue to be a work of novelistic art: its preoccupations are truth and the elusiveness of intimacy, and from such preoccupations emerge this patient, beautiful, exposure of loss, and the price of the pursuit of perfection.

The other shortlisted titles were:

Chris Abani
Maps for Lost Lovers
Nadeem Aslam
Havoc, in its Third Year
Ronan Bennett
The Closed Circle
Jonathan Coe
An Altered Light
Translated from the Danish/Anne Born
Jens Christian Grøndahl
The Swallows of Kabul
Translated from the French/John Cullen
Yasmina Khadra
Breaking the Tongue
Vyvyane Loh
Don't Move
Translated from the Italian/John Cullen
Margaret Mazzantini
The Logogryph
Thomas Wharton

Previous winners of the Award have been Australian writer David Malouf for Remembering Babylon, the Spanish novelist Javier Marias for A Heart So White which was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa. Romanian writer Herta Muller, whose book The Land Of Green Plums was translated by Michael Hofmann, Andrew Miller for his first novel, Ingenious Pain, Nicola Barker for Wide Open, Canadian writer Alistair MacLeod for No Great Mischief, Michel Houellebecq for Atomised, 2004 winner Orhan Pamuk for My Name is Red, This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun and last year's winner The Known World by Edward P Jones.

The members of the international panel of judges for the 2006 Award were: 

Jane Koustas is currently serving as the Craig Dobbin Professor of Canadian
Studies at University College Dublin. She is a Professor in the Department of Modern
Languages and Literatures at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario. Professor
Koustas' research interests include English-Canadian literature in translation,
translation theory and practice, translation history in Canada Quebec theatre and theatre translation. She is the co-editor of two books, Théâtre sans frontières: essays on the dramatic universe of Robert Lepage with Joe Donohoe and Vision/Division: l'oeuvre de Nancy Huston with Marta Dvorak. She has served on the jury of the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Quebec Writers' Federation Translation Award.

Mary O'Donnell is a poet, novelist, translator and critic based in Co. Kildare, Ireland. She has published four volumes of poetry, most recently September Elegies in 2003 and has presented several series of poetry programmes for the Irish national broadcaster, RTE. Her critically acclaimed third novel, The Elysium Testament, appeared in 1999. Her work has been published in literary magazines and journals in Ireland, the UK and the USA and anthologised in collections in Ireland and abroad. She recently presented 'Crossing the Lines', a series of radio programmes on European poetry in translation.  Mary is a member of Aosdána.

Andrew O'Hagan was born in 1968 in Glasgow. In 1995 he wrote The Missing and in 1999 he published his first novel, Our Fathers, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and was winner of the Holtby Prize for Fiction. His latest novel Personality, published in 2003, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. Andrew also won the E.M.Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Since 2000 Andrew has been a Unicef Ambassador.

Paolo Ruffilli was born in 1949 and attended the University of Bologna, where he studied modern literature. After a period of teaching, he became editor with the publisher Garzanti in Milan, and is presently the general editor of the Edizioni del Leone in Venice. Since 1972 he has published nine volumes of poetry.  Among these are the prize-winning Piccola colazione, Diario di Normandia, Camera oscura, and La gioia e il lutto which was published in English translation as Joy and Mourning in 2004.  He has also published a number of novels including Preparativi per la partenza, 2003, as well as essays and translations from English.

Eugene R. Sullivan non-voting chair of the judging panel, is a former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals and brings a wealth of experience from sixteen years on the bench. His first novel, The Majority Rules, was published in 2005. He currently heads up a judicial consultancy group outside of Washington, D.C.


"In The Master, Colm Tóibín takes us almost shockingly close to the soul of Henry James and, by extension, to the mystery of art itself. It is a remarkable, utterly original book." Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours

'Intense and unforgettable, full of Tóibín's trademark grace and astonishing, clear-sighted empathy.' Herald

'Ultimately, it is the essence of Henry James . . . which Tóibín resurrects in this brilliant novel.' The Times

'It is hard to imagine an admirer of Henry James not being gripped by this novel - a work of literary devotion by a writer who is himself a master of plush prose and psychological nuance.' Sunday Telegraph

'Tóibín catches expertly the complexity of James's fate, his reticence, his ambiguous longing for love and his withdrawal from the prospect of it.' Irish Times

'There can be few contemporary novelists capable of sustaining this sort of psychological probe over an entire novel and Tóibín does it with great artistry and conviction.' Spectator

'Tóibín displays - in a manner that is masterly - the wit and metaphorical flair, psychological subtlety and phrases of pouncing incisiveness with which a great novelist captured the nuances of consciousness and the duplicities of society.' Sunday Times

'In The Master, [Tóibín] brings James to life in a way that no straight biography could.' Esquire

'One of the most remarkable novels of the year.' Sunday Herald

'The Master is a terrific book.' Benjamin Markovits, Daily Telegraph


'The best fiction this year . . . Whether you like Henry James or not, it's a wonderful evocation of an old man at the end of his life as he reflects on love and loss.' Edwina Currie, Evening Standard

'A novelisation of the last years of Henry James, it is both poignant and fascinating.  Most of all, it made me want to go and read his novels again.' Edwina Currie, New Statesman

'A discreetly beautiful and subtle novel about privacy.' Robert Macfarlane, Evening Standard

'Colm Toíbín's portrait of Henry James in The Master moved me to tears.  Self-repression, irony and understatement are all heroic qualities.' Patricia Duncker, New Statesman

'Colm Toíbín's The Master is particularly perceptive and moving about Henry James's self-torturing and self-protecting approach to all human intimacies.' Peregrine Worsthorne, New Statesman

'As a rule, fictional investigations of great writers have no appeal for me.  But this prejudice collapsed this year when I read The Master, Colm Toíbín's subtle, scrupulous account of Henry James.  In its quiet way, this novel's imaginative truthfulness crosses boundaries and challenges biographers.' Anne Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph

'…Colm Toíbín's The Master, selects isolated events in Henry James's life, all vital to the development of his character and art . . . Toibin is for me the finest novelist of his generation.' Francis King, Spectator


The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was the initiative of Gay Mitchell, then Lord Mayor of Dublin and Dr. James B Irwin, Chairman of IMPAC in 1992.

The Award is a partnership between IMPAC and Dublin City Council.  The first Award was presented in 1996 to Australian author David Malouf for Remembering Babylon.  The Lord Mayor of Dublin today continues to act as its patron.

Presented annually, with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature, the award is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified time period as outlined in the rules and conditions for the year.

Since its inception, IMPAC has worked with Dublin City Council to develop the award which has become one of the most prestigious in the world.


IMPAC (Improved Management Productivity and Control) is an international company with its headquarters based in Florida, USA. Founded in 1954 and headed up since 1972 by Dr. James B. Irwin, Sr., IMPAC is a global leader in the productivity enhancement field, working on projects for major corporations and institutions in 65 countries around the world. IMPAC's Dublin offices were established in 1988 with the development of its European regional training centre.

Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council is the municipal authority providing local government services for Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. First established in the year 1192, Dublin City Council provides a range of diverse services such as libraries, arts, planning, housing and fire services for the citizens of Dublin - to the highest international standards. Dublin City Public Libraries co-ordinates and steers the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award administrative processes involving more than 150 libraries worldwide.


"In the brief period since 1996 the IMPAC (Dublin) Award has achieved an unassailable reputation among the world's great literary prizes, for the quality of its judges, its shortlist, its winners.   As the first of those winners I am happy to find myself, after ten years, in such shining company." David Malouf- winner 1996

'Literature is a worldwide endeavour that has little to do with national boundaries. The Dublin IMPAC has been pre-eminent in recognising this. Little by little the importance of this award is coming to be understood by writers, readers, publishers, critics and booksellers because no other prize, with the exception of the Nobel, draws on such a range of work. In another ten years IMPAC will be as closely watched as the Pulitzer or the Booker or the Goncourt - perhaps more so.' - Andrew Miller - winner 1999

At a time when artistic timidity so often reaps the biggest rewards, both commercially and critically, there is something immensely heartening about the IMPAC (Dublin) Award. It's wonderful that the world's richest prize for a single work of fiction should be judged solely on the criterion of literary merit - eschewing the political considerations which sometimes predominate in more highly-publicised book awards. Nicola Barker - winner 2000

The IMPAC Dublin Award was a tremendous "gift" to me in more ways than one. Its financial largesse and the attendant publicity literally changed my life.  It was wonderful to have my work recognized by a jury of international peers and, subsequently, to have it read by so many new and appreciative readers.  It is a splendid award. - Alistair MacLeod - winner 2001

"It was a great honor to receive the  IMPAC Dublin Prize and  a great joy  to go to Dublin to get it"....
Orhan Pamuk - winner 2003

"la particularité de ce prix est qu'il est unique ; son mode de sélection et d'attribution est très judicieux et juste. L'écrivain qui remporte l'Impac est doublement heureux ; il est distingué et surtout il est reconnu de manière internationale et objective. Ce prix est vraiment exceptionnel. Non seulement il m'a honoré mais aussi il m'a apporté une belle confiance en mon travail." - Tahar Ben Jelloun Lauréat 2004.

$16,000 for Young Writers
In Regional Ceremonies

LITCHFIELD, CT. April 27, 2006 -- Four young writers received $1,000 checks Thursday night as the IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Trust concluded its series of annual regional ceremonies with a celebration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

The winners for Litchfield and Fairfield counties respectively, are: Jasmine Ruiz of Torrington High School for her poem, "Beautiful in the Ugly;" John Raithel, The Woodhall School, for his story, "Perimeters;" Bryan Murphy, Trumbull High School, for his poem, "Insanity!" and Shakhed Hadaya, Danbury High School, for her story, "The Rat."

Presenting certificates to county finalists and checks to the winners were Dr. David Carter, Chancellor of the Connecticut State University System; and writer Franz Douskey, a founding board member of the Trust and a judge for the competition. Addressing the young writers was Dr. Shouhua Qi, Associate Professor of English at Western and author of "When the Purple Mountain Burns," a book about his life in Nanking.

Litchfield and Fairfield county finalists also included students from Wamogo Regional High School, Salisbury Central School, The Gunnery, The Hotchkiss School, The Taft School, New Milford High School, Shelton High School, Greenwich High School, Newtown High School, Darien High School, Staples High School, Rogers Park Middle School, Newtown Middle School, St. Joseph High School, Greenwich Academy and Norwalk High School.

The winners for Hartford and Tolland counties, respectively, are: Britta Bell of Greater Hartford Academy, for her poem, "Keeping My Father;" Molly Rosenthal, Hall High School, West Hartford, for her story, "7-Eleven;" Molly LaFlesh, Rockville High School, for her poem, "Black Ballpoint Anorexia;" and Fallon VonOudenhove, Rockville High School, for her story, "That's Our Exit." They were honored April 20 at Central Connecticut State University in New Haven.

The winners for New Haven and Middlesex counties, respectively, are: Amanda Debisschop of Woodland Regional High School, for her poem, "Tableau;" Diana Filar, Wolcott High School, for her story, "Wishing on Dandelions;" Elizabeth Santovasi, Old Saybrook High School, for her poem, "Oh, Driver! My Driver!" and Jen Angier, Valley Regional High School, for her story, "Brown Stuff." They were honored April 18 at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.

The winners for New London and Windham counties, respectively, are: Ryan O'Connell of Ledyard High School for his poem, "Suppertime;" Sourav Bhowmick, East Lyme School, for his story, "The New Oasis;" Chelsea Paige Love, Arts at the Capitol Theater of Willimantic, for her poem, "Waiting;" and Kylee Begin, Woodstock Academy, for her story, "One Last Hope." They were honored April 17 at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic.

About 3,500 young writers have competed in the IMPAC -CSU program, which has awarded more than $135,000 since 1998.

Poets and writers in each of Connecticut's eight counties win $1,000 prizes. The top poet and writer from that set of winners will earn a trip to Dublin with a parent for the presentation of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and related festivities in June. Statewide poetry and prose champions will be announced during the annual dinner June 4 at the Litchfield Inn.

In addition, workshops for young writers will be held at Western on May 6-7 at Western Connecticut State University. This event is sponsored by Connecticut Review, the nationally-renowned literary journal published by the CSU System, and the Young Writers Trust. Connecticut Review published the works of 2005 statewide prose champion Charlotte Crowe of Canton and 2005 statewide poetry champion Jessica Roth of Granby in the Spring 2006 edition.

IMPAC, a leading productivity firm, also endows the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which at 100,000 Euros is the world's largest prize for a single work of fiction.

IMPAC Chairman Jim Irwin and retired CSU Chancellor Bill Cibes joined to bring the Young Writers Program statewide in 2000. Newly-installed Chancellor David Carter, formerly president of Eastern, has been a champion for the program.

The CSU System serves more than 35,000 students, making it the largest public university system in Connecticut. A total of 166 academic programs are offered throughout the system, and more than 5,000 degrees are awarded annually.

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