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New York Times, Washington Post and Many Others on Impac Dublin Award
June 16, 2005
The New York Times
Compiled by LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Jones Novel Wins Big Prize
"The Known World," a novel about free blacks who owned slaves in the antebellum South, has won the world's richest literary prize for its author, Edward P. Jones. Mr. Jones is the first American to win the $120,000 purse of the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, founded in 1994 and underwritten by a United States-based management consultancy.
"The Known World" (Amistad/HarperCollins), which the author has said took 11 years to write, was nominated for the award by public libraries in Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia and Illinois. The prize's panel of six international judges chose Mr. Jones's first novel, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, from a long list of 147 and a shortlist of 10, which included novels by authors from South Africa, Canada, the Netherlands and Norway. The only other American title to be shortlisted was Jonathan Lethem's "Fortress of Solitude" (Doubleday). BRIAN LAVERY
The Washington Post
* Washington-born author Edward P. Jones won Ireland's International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for "The Known World," a novel about the family of a black slave owner in 19th-century Virginia. The $120,700 award is the world's largest prize for a work of fiction. Last year, Jones won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel, and received a MacArthur Fellowship.
Agence France Presse -- English
June 15, 2005 Wednesday
Copyright 2005 Agence France Presse
All Rights Reserved
US author wins 100,000-euro Irish fiction prize
DUBLIN June 15
American author Edward P. Jones has won the 10th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the biggest prize in literature for a single work, its organisers announced Wednesday.
Jones won for "The Known World", his first novel, also becoming the first US winner of the award, Dublin City Council said. He will receive a prize of 100,000 euros (120,000 dollars).
The book was previously awarded the 2004 Pulitzer prize for fiction.
The story begins with the death of a 31-year-old black former slave in the state of Virginia who bequeaths his widow a farm and 33 slaves which he owned.
Jones has also won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award for his debut collection of stories, "Lost in the City".
The only literary award which pays more than IMPAC is the Nobel literature prize, which rewards a body of works rather than a single book.
Dublin's Lord Mayor Michael Conaghan and IMPAC chairman James B. Irwin presented Jones with his prize at a ceremony in City Hall.
Judges said "The Known World" had factual parallels and the author had "createda richly imagined novel, in which a multitude of moral contradictions arerevealed and explored."
The central character, Henry Townsend, aspires to be "a better master than any white man he had ever known."
Judges added the story intertwines "a multiplicity of narratives and clearly defined voices with extraordinary skill, Jones loops backwards and forward from the day of Henry's death, in prose that is generally measured and restrained, but with passages of intense lyricism and outbursts of casual savagery.
"Vividly conceived and profoundly humane, "The Known World" is a remarkable re-creation of a world we might have thought we already knew."
The prize, run by Dublin City Council's library department, is unique in that the shortlist is selected from a list of books nominated by 185 public libraries in 51 countries.
The award was established in 1996 to underline the Irish capital's literary stature.
Dublin is the birthplace of Nobel literature prize winners George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and Samuel Beckett.
June 16, 2005 Thursday All-round Metro Edition
Copyright 2005 Nationwide News Pty Limited
US slave tale wins richest award
DUBLIN: American author Edward P.Jones has won the biggest prize in literature for a single work -- the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, worth E100,000 ($157,990).
Jones, who won for The Known World, his first novel, is the first US winner of the award, Dublin City Council announced last night.
The book, which took Jones 11 years to write, was previously awarded the 2004 Pulitzer prize for fiction.
The story begins with the death of a 31-year-old black former slave in the state of Virginia in 1855 who bequeaths his widow a farm and 33 slaves he owned.
Jones has also won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award for his debut collection of stories, Lost in the City. The only literary award that pays more than IMPAC is the Nobel literature prize, which rewards a body of works rather than a single book.
Dublin Lord Mayor Michael Conaghan and IMPAC chairman James B. Irwin presented Jones with his prize at a ceremony in City Hall.
Judges said The Known World had factual parallels and the author had "created a richly imagined novel, in which a multitude of moral contradictions are revealed and explored".
The central character, Henry Townsend, aspires to be "a better master than any white man he had ever known".
The story intertwined "a multiplicity of narratives and clearly defined voices with extraordinary skill", the judges said.
"Jones loops backwards and forward from the day of Henry's death, in prose that is generally measured and restrained, but with passages of intense lyricism and outbursts of casual savagery.
"Vividly conceived and profoundly humane, The Known World is a remarkable re-creation of a world we might have thought we already knew."
The prize, run by Dublin City Council's library department, is unique in that the shortlist is selected from books nominated by 185 public libraries in 51 countries.
The award was established in 1996 to underline the Irish capital's literary stature.
Pulitzer Prize novel also wins IMPAC award
Ottawa Citizen June 16, 2005 Thursday
Copyright 2005 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp.
All Rights Reserved
ARTS; Pg. E5
BYLINE: Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen
American author Edward P. Jones has won the prestigious and lucrative IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel The Known World, beating out two Canadians including Ottawa's Frances Itani.
Jones earlier won the Pulitzer Prize for the same book. He was to be presented with his $150,000 Cdn. prize yesterday in Dublin. The IMPAC is billed as the English-speaking world's richest literary prize.
Jones's book is about a black farmer in antebellum Virginia who was once a slave and then became a slave owner himself.
"Edward P. Jones has created a richly imagined novel, in which a multitude of moral contradictions are revealed and explored," said the IMPAC judges.
Any fiction book published in English or translated into English in the past year is eligible for the IMPAC. Nominations come from public libraries around the globe.
This year's 10-book shortlist included novels by two Canadians -- Itani's Deafening and Douglas Glover's Elle.
Deafening is a First World War-era story of a deaf woman in small-town Ontario. The book was partially inspired by Itani's own deaf grandmother.
Itani is one of Ottawa's most celebrated writers. Her most recent book, a collection of short stories called Poached Egg on Toast, won this year's Ottawa Book Award, a prize honouring the best work of fiction published by an Ottawa writer in the past year.
Glover, a Canadian now living in New York, won the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 2003 for Elle, a ribald tale about a promiscuous woman during the early days of New France.
The only Canadian to have won the IMPAC Award is Alistair MacLeod of Windsor. That was in 2002 for No Great Mischief, which explored life in the author's native Cape Breton.
The seven other books shortlisted this year were: Gardening at Night by Diane Awerbuck, The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen, The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut, Phantom Pain by Arnon Grunberg, The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard, Willenbrock by Christoph Hein and The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem.
Librarians award Edward Jones world's richest fiction prize
National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post) (Canada)
June 16, 2005 Thursday
Copyright 2005 National Post
All Rights Reserved
ARTS &LIFE; Arts Report; Pg. AL2
DUBLIN - U.S. author Edward P. Jones won Ireland's International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world's biggest prize for a single work of fiction, for The Known World. Jones, born in Washington, D.C., was chosen from a short list of 10 for the novel about the family of a black slave-owner in 19th-century Virginia.
Jones has already won the Pulitzer Prize for the book, which was published in 2003. "It's great, it's wonderful and quite unexpected," Jones, 54, told reporters after the award was announced in the 226-year-old City Hall in Dublin. The award "began with libraries around the world, which is good because libraries know what their readers are reading." The IMPAC prize fund totals 100,000 euros ($150,000). The award for the U.K.'s higher profile Man Booker Prize is (ps)50,000 ($112,700), though invariably that award is worth much more as it can help a winning novel become an international best-seller. Nominations for the IMPAC, which was first awarded in 1996, are made by libraries. The short list from which the judges picked The Known World was whittled down from an initial list of 147 titles in 16 languages, nominated by 185 libraries in 51 countries. "It's different from book critics who are not necessarily in tune with people in their cities who read books," Jones said. "They know books, but they don't necessarily know readers." Canadian contenders on the long list included Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood; Douglas Glover's Elle; and Frances Itani's Deafening.
A winner that deserves to be known to world
The Irish Times, June 16, 2005
Copyright 2005 The Irish Times
Features; Pg. 14
'This is a reader's book; it engages' was the view when Edward P Jones received the Impac literary award in Dublin yesterday. Eileen Battersby agrees.
Impac has got it right, again, by alerting the world to another outstanding novel, and some fine supporting runners-up. This year's International Impac Dublin Literary Award has been won for the first time in its 10-year history by a US writer. Edward P Jones's first novel, The Known World, a triumphant multi-layered blending of the biblical with the vernacular, atmospherically set in a 19th-century Virginia where slaves are seen merely as property, was yesterday announced as winner of the EUR 100,000 prize.
Although it was an exciting shortlist, offering a diverse selection of good work - including major novels such as two recent Booker contenders, South African Damon Galgut's The Good Doctor and veteran Australian Shirley Hazzard's National Book Award-winning The Great Fire - for those present in City Hall who had read all 10 books, the winner came as no surprise. The Known World always looked the obvious choice. An entire world has been evoked by pursuing an historical footnote.
Jones has shaped his narrative with the voice of a storyteller, part seer, part witness. It is a novel graced with the music of speech and the substance of memory. Nominated by readers from four US libraries, it breathes through richly lyric prose that pulsates with life and emotion. As Dublin City Librarian Deirdre Ellis-King remarked within minutes of the announcement: "This is a reader's book; it engages."
Beautiful, beguiling and often brutal, it is also an extremely important book drawing on history as suffered by a silent, forgotten victimhood. Just as last year's winning novel, This Blinding Absence of Light, by Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, towered above its fellow contenders in terms of artistry and also the weight of its message - alerting the world to a real-life human rights abuse scandal - The Known World dominated this year's shortlist from its publication on March 7th.
Ben Jelloun's and Jones's novels are concerned - as was Herta Muller's The Land of Green Plums (1998), set in Ceaucescu's Romania - with truth. All three novels reflect the power of fiction as an indomitable truth- teller.
Having won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize, The Known World had also been shortlisted for the National Book Award in the US, as had been Jones's first book, a short story collection, Lost in the City (1992). The novel - which he said yesterday "was on my mind for about 10 years; I did no research for it, although I'd meant to, so in the end I had to invent my own county Manchester, Virginia " - was well-received in the US by a range of publications, from the New York Times to entertainment guides.
"I didn't want to use any 'neon' language, I just wanted to report. I had story after story, like the Bible. And I felt that, like in the Bible, I was aiming for a simplicity of language," Jones said.
Jones is 54 and quiet by nature, a native of Washington DC and a product of its public-school system. His arrival at City Hall yesterday was not quite a leisurely affair. He had missed his original flight from the US and had become separated from his luggage. Having thanked the city, the judges, the Lord Mayor and all else concerned, he said: "My suit is crumpled, my shirt is crumpled, but my heart is soaring."
Jones was aware of being the first US winner, the only other North American Impac win having been secured by a Canadian, Alistair MacLeod, for No Great Mischief in 2001.
In its tone and haunting theme, that of slavery's vicious legacy, The Known World has echoes of Toni Morrison's incantatory classic, Beloved. Just as Morrison availed of the surreal in her powerful tale of a mother reduced to killing her own child in order to protect it, Jones looks to the strange for answers as to how a people endures. Myth plays a vital role in helping the slaves understand, and accept, the hell that passes for their daily existence in a society where they must accept that they are property and where, in time, they may even have to face buying their own child or a parent.
Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who is also a skilled boot-maker, becomes a slave-owner through his mentor, the complex William Robbins,a plantation owner with a black mistress. Early in the novel, Henry is having difficulties with Moses, the first slave he buys. The dispute becomes a brawl. Unfortunately, Robbins happens by on his fine horse and witnesses the debacle.
Robbins dispenses some advice:
". . . the law will protect you as master to your slave, and it will not flinch when it protects you. That protection lasts here . . . all the way to the death of that property . . . But the law expects you to know what is master and what is slave."
Morrison's narrative is inspired by a particular event, while Jones's is anecdotal. His novel flourishes upon a grid of cross- reference, detail and grotesque asides. Its allure rests in the culmination of many lives lived, fashioned by shifts of memory as well as the facts of history. There is another difference between the two books: urgency and rage sustain Beloved, while The Known World avoids that quality of righteousness and instead looks to the bewilderment created by contradiction and compromise. Slavery remains one of the worst chapters in US history, and slave traders and plantation owners brought humanity into disrepute. However, there is a further level of shame. Freed blacks were known to perpetrate against their own people the very crime that had been committed against them, a small number of them dealing in black slaves ,just as some educated blacks exploited their education when dealing with their own.
Because Jones sustains his storyteller's voice, even when describing outrages, the narrative never degenerates into polemic. Dignity, respect and basic decency, as well as family loyalties, are all explored. There is also humour.
The Known World is a novel that succeeds as art and as entertainment. It is moral without being moralistic, and imagined while also deferring to history. It is far superior to many former winners of the Booker Prize.
Readers and writers will automatically, and correctly, challenge the right of any literary prize to make judgments about literature. Contentious though prizes are, a shortlisting, never mind a win, sells books. However exciting or infuriating any prize is, there is really only one judge - the test of time.
To date, with a 36-year history behind it, the Booker Prize has produced two magnificent winners, Life and Times of Michael K (1983) and Disgrace(1999), both by the South African master, JM Coetzee, and many distinguished shortlist nominees, including JG Ballard's Empire of the Sun (1984). It continues to exclude mainland Europe and the US, and so remains half-heartedly international.
Meanwhile, the Orange Prize, open only to women writers, appears, with the recent award of this year's prize to Lionel Shriver's pornographically cynical We Need To Talk About Kevin, intent on consolidating a particular type of agenda-based criteria.
The International Impac Dublin Literary Award, established in 1994 by Dublin City Council and championed by the then lord mayor, Gay Mitchell, was born amid a lot of ballyhoo about its massive purse, the largest for any single work of fiction, and the legacy of one James Joyce.
Cynics had doubts. But the inaugural prize in 1995 went to a good winner, Australian David Malouf's Remembering Babylon.
Since then, there have been other triumphant choices, including Muller, MacLeod, Orhan Pamuk's virtuoso free-for-all, My Name is Red, and, of course, This Blinding Absence of Light. Aside from those winners, a number of remarkable novels from around the world have been introduced to the reading public. Far from being dismissed as yet another publicity stunt, the publication of the annual Impac longlist should be celebrated for offering a useful insight into the western world's reading patterns. People are reading The Good Doctor, The Great Fire and The Known World.
Among the also-rans of this year's shortlist - and let us pause to lament the failure of Gunter Grass's longlisted Crabwalk to make the final 10 - were South African Diane Awerbuck's lively debut, Gardening at Night, and German Christoph Hein's lugubriously amusing Willenbrock. They may not have won, but the reading public has.
Just as we thank publishers such as Harvill and Granta for championing foreign- language fiction, the reading public should bow to the International Impac Dublin Literary Award for maturing into a valuable forum at a relatively young age and for being truly international, highlighting fiction from across Europe, China, Africa, Japan, Australia, the US and Canada.
There has yet to be an Irish winner. But the first US win has happened, with a magically humane novel that does honour to story, to history and life.
As part of the Dublin Writers Festival, Edward P Jones will read from The Known World, along with Antoni Libera and Sue Miller, at Project, Temple Bar, on Sat at 1pm. Jones is interviewed by Eileen Battersby in Weekend Review on Saturday
[ASSOCIATED PRESS MOVED THIS ON CT. WIRE; THIS VERSION RAN IN HARTFORD COURANT AND MOST OTHER CT. PAPERS]
American Author Wins Irish Literary Prize
By Associated Press
June 15 2005, 11:54 AM EDT
DUBLIN, Ireland-- American writer Edward P. Jones, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his first novel, "The Known World," received one of Europe's richest literary prizes Wednesday in recognition of the same work.
In a ceremony at Dublin City Hall, Jones collected the annual IMPAC Dublin Literary Award along with a check for $120,000 for his novel, which took him a decade to write.
Set in pre-Civil War Virginia, "The Known World" tells an epic, fact-based tale centered on the fictional Henry Townsend, a black man who owns slaves and aspires to be "a better master than any white man he had ever known." Critics internationally have praised "The Known World" for a multi-layered portrayal of families and a wider society struggling with the moral contradictions of slavery. It won the Pulitzer last year.
A five-judge panel selected Jones' work as the best among a list of 147 novels, which had been nominated by 185 libraries from 51 countries worldwide. Libraries in four U.S. cities -- Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., Richmond, Va., and Springfield, Ill. -- nominated "The Known World."
"I'm still amazed that out of dozens and dozens of people, they chose me," said Jones, 54, who lives in Arlington, Va.
Jones' "The Known World" also won last year's National Book Critics Circle prize. In the decade he spent writing the novel, he lost his job as a proofreader for the trade publication Tax Notes, and lost touch with much of the publishing world. When he finished his manuscript, he was so embarrassed by the delay that he notified his agent by letter, instead of by telephone.
Each qualifying novel for the IMPAC award had to be published in English in 2004. Last year's IMPAC winner was "This Blinding Absence of Light" by Moroccan-born novelist Tahar Ben Jelloun.
The award, launched in 1996, is run by Dublin's public libraries and largely financed by a Connecticut-based management consultancy, Improved Management Productivity and Control. IMPAC has its European headquarters in Dublin.
On the Net: IMPAC prize, http://www.impacdublinaward.ie/
Press Association June 15, 2005, Wednesday
Copyright 2005 The Press Association Limited
08:01 AM Eastern Time
SLAVERY NOVEL WINS BIGGEST LITERARY PRIZE
BYLINE: Emily Beament, PA
An American novel about slavery today won the world's largest literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.
United States author Edward P Jones scooped the award of 100,000 euros(#70,000) in the 10th International Impac Dublin Literary Award for his first novel, The Known World.
The historical work, which explores the life of Henry Townsend, a former black slave who becomes a slave owner himself, won the Pulitzer Prize in2004.
The book was described by the judges of the Dublin Literary Award as"a richly imagined novel in which a multitude of moral contradictions are revealed and explored".
Mr. Jones, who received a standing ovation as he collected his award, said receiving the prize was "great, it's wonderful, I never expected it".
He said he had only got off a plane from the US a few hours earlier to attend the award ceremony at Dublin's City Hall.
"My belongings have been in a suitcase for a whole day, I got to the hotel room and took everything out and my suit was rumpled, my shirt was rumpled, but my heart is soaring."
The writer said his inspiration came in college from learning about black slave owners.
Mr. Jones, who is currently working on a book of short stories about Washington DC, said he appreciated winning an award which was nominated by libraries rather than book critics.
"I'm not one of those writers who writes for fortune and fame.
"I write because I can't do anything else - I'm compelled to," he said.
Asked how he would spend his prize money, he joked: "I'm going to buy some new socks."
The international panel of judges, which included Irish poet and playwright Rita Ann Higgins and British novelist Jonathan Buckley, chose The Known World from a short list of 10 finalists from Canada, Germany, Holland, Norway, South Africa and the US, including three novels translated into English.
The 10 finalists were picked from a long list of 147 books nominated by 185 libraries in 51 countries around the world.
Three Irish writers, Martin Malone for The Broken Cedar, Gerard Donovan with Schopenhauer's Telescope and Colum McCann for Dancer, were among the147 novelists chosen but failed to make it through to the final 10.
Mr. Jones was presented with the cheque for 100,000 euros by Impac chairman Dr James B Irwin and a specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy from the Lord Mayor of Dublin Michael Conaghan.
Introducing the 10th annual event, Deirdre Ellis King, Dublin City Librarian, said it had become "one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world".
June 15, 2005, Wednesday
Copyright 2005 Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 15, 2005, Wednesday
12:04:22 Central European Time
U.S. author wins International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
U.S. author Edward P. Jones, winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, won Wednesday the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for his first Novel "The Known World".
Jones was awarded the prize of 100,000 euros (132,000 dollars) at a ceremony in Dublin City Hall.
"The Known World" focuses on the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites and Indians.
Nominations were made by 185 library systems representing 129 cities from 51 countries.
The award, one of Europe's most prestigious, is a partnership between Dublin City Council, the Municipal Government of Dublin City and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company operating in more than 50 countries.
Last year's winner was "This Blinding Absence of Light" by Moroccan Tahar Ben Jelloun translated from the French by Linda Coverdale.
IRELAND ON LINE...
US writer Edward P Jones wins 2005 IMPAC award
15/06/2005 - 13:09:17
American writer Edward P Jones has won this year's International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his first novel, The Known World.
The €100,000 prize is the largest prize for a literary award anywhere in the world.
The Known World, which took Jones 11 years to write, was chosen from a shortlist of ten novels nominated by libraries from across the world.
The book is set in 1855 Virginia and is the story of a black slave owner.
BBC story on IMPAC Dublin Award
Impac award for Pulitzer winner
Author Edward P Jones has won the Impac Award, the world's richest literary prize for a single work of fiction.
The Known World was selected from a shortlist of 10 books to win the 100,000euro (£66,000) prize, presented in Dublin on Wednesday.
The debut novel from American author Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004
The international judging panel called the book, about slavery, "vividly conceived and profoundly humane".
The International Impac Dublin Literary Award is open to novels written in any language by authors of any nationality, provided the book has been published in or translated into English.
The 10 shortlisted titles were selected from a longlist of 147, nominated by 185 libraries from 51 countries.
Other authors included Damon Galgut, whose The Good Doctor was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize and Shirley Hazzard, winner of the National Book Award for The Great Fire.
Last year's Impac prize was won by Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun's This Blinding Absence of Light, about an underground prison in the deserts of Morocco.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/06/15 15:02:46 GMT
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