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'A Book is a Book' for Top Dublin Award
Copyright 2005 The Irish News Limited
November 23, 2005
The world's largest prize for fiction printed in English - the Dublin 'IMPAC Literary Award'- will ignore any prejudices leveled against some books which have been described as 'bestsellers' or 'chick-lit', one of the judges said yesterday.
Novelist Andrew O'Hagan, a member of the judging panel, said all 132 nominations for the 2006 international award, including six Irish authors, would be reviewed with an open-mind.
Among the half-dozen Irish writers nominated for the EUR100,000 (£70,000) prestigious prize are the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's daughter Cecilia for her book PS, I Love You, Colm Toibin's The Master and Roddy Doyle's Oh, Play That Thing.
"One of the beauties of the Dublin IMPAC is that it has no elitist formula, if you like, it is open-minded as to who it considers for the award and that is a tradition we aim to uphold this year," Mr O'Hagan, whose first novel Our Fathers was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and a previous IMPAC award, said.
"There are books in this pile before us which have very distinct and very different qualities, for a different jury perhaps they would home in on some of those alternative qualities.
"We will work together open-mindedly to overcome any prejudices that might attach themselves to particular books, that is prejudices for the books that have won other prizes, as well as books that are prejudiced as being bestsellers or chick-lit or not up for a literary prize."
The Glasgow-born author said many of the titles were very different and it might be imagined they also have different readerships.
"But a book, is a book, is a book, and as far as we are concerned it is either well written or badly written, someone, somewhere in the world nominated each of those books.
"So it is our task to take that nomination seriously," he said.
The award is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided it was published in English of English translation within a specific time period.
The other Irish authors nominated include Ronan Bennett's Havoc in its Third Year, Frank Delaney Ireland and Tina Reilly Something Borrowed.
Local writers Hollingshead and Wharton make the long list for prestigious IMPAC Dublin prize Edmonton Journal
The Edmonton Journal
Copyright 2005 Edmonton Journal, a division of Canwest MediaWorks Publication Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Edmonton Journal (Alberta)
November 24, 2005 Thursday
EDMONTON - Two Edmonton writers have made the long list for the lucrative IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the richest book prizes in the world.
Greg Hollingshead, the author of the novel Bedlam, and Thomas Wharton, who wrote The Logogryph: A Bibliography of Imaginary Books, are among the 11 Canadians on the 132-name list. The short list will be announced on April 5 and the winner, who receives the equivalent of $140,000 Cdn, will be announced June 14.
Libraries from 124 cities around the world, including the Edmonton Public Library, nominate novels for the award.
"I've always liked librarians," Thomas Wharton said Wednesday in reaction to the nomination. "I think it's just great."
The Logogryph describes imaginary books and alternate realities as Wharton explores the magic of reading.
Hollingshead, who previously won the Governor General's Literary Award for his 1995 book The Roaring Girl, said he was pleased to be on the list, and particularly because his nomination came from the Edmonton Public Library.
"That really means a lot to me, and it's really quite gratifying to see so many Canadians on the list."
Bedlam is set in the years between 1797 and 1818 in the notorious London home for the mentally ill. It tells the story of James Tilly Matthews, an eccentric tea broker who was condemned to the madhouse for reasons which may be more political than medical. Critics have praised the work for its deft sense of place and for its believable dialogue.
The other Canadians on the list are Wayson Choy for All That Matters, Trevor Cole for Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life, Robert Hough for The Stowaway, Joel Hynes for Down to the Dirt, Beth Powning for The Hatbox Letters, Russell Smith for Muriella Pent, Miriam Toews for A Complicated Kindness, Michael Winter for The Big Why and Richard B. Wright for Adultery.
Other writers on the list include V.S. Naipaul, Isabel Allende, Man Booker Prize winner Alan Hollinghurst and American writer Marilynne Robinson, author of the acclaimed Gilead.
Photo: Journal Stock; (Greg) Hollingshead;
Photo: Journal Stock; () Wharton
November 24, 2005
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