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For International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2006 SHORTLIST

A shortlist of 10 books for the 11h Annual International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2006, the world's largest literary prize (€100,000) for a single work of fiction, is announced in The Mansion House, Dublin today by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Catherine Byrne. The 10 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 shortlisted titles are:

       Graceland -     Chris Abani

       Maps for Lost Lovers - Nadeem Aslam

       Havoc, in its Third Year - Ronan Bennett

       The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe

       An Altered Light      - Jens Christian Grøndahl
Translated from the Danish/Anne Born

The Swallows of Kabul - Yasmina Khadra
Translated from the French/John Cullen

       Breaking the Tongue - Vyvyane Loh

Don't Move - Margaret Mazzantini
Translated from the Italian/John Cullen

The Master - Colm Tóibín

The Logogryph - Thomas Wharton

**The Winner will be announced on 14th June 2006, in City Hall, Dublin.**

Graceland by Chris Abani
Nominated by: Stockholm Public Library, Sweden

Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator, is hoping to make his way out of the ghetto.
Broke, beset by floods, and beatings by his alcoholic father, and with no job opportunities in sight, he is tempted by a life of crime. Thus begins his odyssey into the dangerous underworld of Lagos. Ultimately, young Elvis, drenched in reggae and jazz, and besotted with American film heroes and images, must find his way to a GraceLand of his own. Nuanced, lyrical, and pitch perfect, Graceland is a remarkable story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

Chris Abani's fiction and poetry have been widely anthologized. Graceland is his first novel. His latest award-winning book, Kalakuta Republic, is a collection of poetry based on his experience as a political prisoner in Nigeria.

Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam
Nominated by:
City of Johannesburg Library & Information Services, South Africa
Hoofdstedilijke Openbare Bibliotheek, Brussels, Belgium

Jugnu and his lover, Chanda, have disappeared.

Though unmarried, they had been living together, embracing the contemporary mores of the English town where they lived but disgracing themselves in the eyes of their close-knit Pakistani community. Rumours about their disappearance abound, but five months go by before anything certain is known. Finally, on a snow-covered January morning, Chanda's brothers are arrested for the murder of their sister and Jugnu.

Shock and disbelief spread through the community, and for Jugnu's brother, Shamas, and his wife, Kaukab, it is a moment that marks the beginning of the unravelling of all that is sacred to them.

Nadeem Aslam is the author of the award-winning novel Season of the Rainbirds. He lives in the UK.

Havoc, In Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett
Nominated by:
Newcastle Libraries & Information Service, England
Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand
Wellington City Libraries, New Zealand
Limerick City Library, Ireland

England in the 1630s: an unsettled country in turbulent times. People are gripped by fear: fear of crime and disorder, of foreign invasion, of Catholic conspiracies, of the vagrant poor. In a town in northern England a group of Puritan reformers tightens its hold on the lives of the inhabitants.

John Brigge is the local coroner, a respected man who wants nothing more than to work his farm and be with his wife, now expecting their first child. But when he is called to investigate an infanticide, Brigge finds himself drawn unwillingly into a vicious power struggle.

Like the best historical novels, Havoc, In Its Third Year vividly captures the period yet resonates with the present.

Ronan Bennett was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the author of three novels, The Second Prison, Overthrown by Strangers, and The Catastrophist, shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Novel Award. He has also written screenplays for film and television. Ronan lives in London with his family.

The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe
Nominated by:
Liverpool Libraries & Information Services, England

Set against the backdrop of the Millennium celebrations and Britain's increasingly compromised role in America's war against terrorism, The Closed Circle lifts the lid on an era in which politics and presentation, ideology and the media have become virtually indistinguishable. Darkly comic, hugely engaging, and compulsively readable, it is the much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Coe's bestselling novel The Rotters' Club, and reintroduces us to the characters first encountered in that book. But whereas The Rotters' Club was a novel of innocence, The Closed Circle is its opposite: a novel of experience.

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1961. His novels include The Rotters' Club, The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Dwarves of Death and the award-winning What a Carve Up!

An Altered Light by Jens Christian Grøndahl
Translated from the Danish by Anne Born
Nominated by:
Copenhagen Central Library, Denmark

Irene Beckman appears to have a perfect life: two grown children, a house in a prosperous suburb of Copenhagen, and a successful career as a family lawyer. She is cool, sophisticated, and still exotically good-looking, the dyed hair her only concession to time.

Then her husband announces that he's leaving her, and her mother reveals some unexpected information about Irene's father. Suddenly, Irene Beckman is neither wife nor daughter. Nor, she realizes, is it at all clear who she has been all these years. It is time to find out.

An Altered Light is a fascinating exploration of the nature of chance and relationships-between parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and strangers.

Jens Christian Grøndahl is one of the most celebrated and widely read novelists in Europe today. He has written plays, essays, and twelve novels, and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in Copenhagen.

The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
Translated from the French by John Cullen
Nominated by
Tampere City Library, Finland
Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek, Norway
Cleveland Public Library, USA
New York Public Library, USA

Since the ascendancy of the Taliban the lives of Mosheen and his beautiful wife, Zunaira, have been gradually destroyed. Mosheen's dream of becoming a diplomat has been shattered and Zunaira can no longer even appear on the streets of Kabul unveiled. Atiq is a jailer who guards those who have been condemned to death; the darkness of prison and the wretchedness of his job have seeped into his soul. Atiq's wife, Musarrat, is suffering from an illness no doctor can cure.
The lives of these four people become inexplicably intertwined, through death and imprisonment to passion and extraordinary self-sacrifice. The Swallows of Kabul is an astounding and elegiac novel of four people struggling to hold on to their humanity in a place where pleasure is a deadly sin and death has become routine.

Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume of the Algerian army officer, Mohammed Moulessehoul, who took a feminine pseudonym to avoid submitting his manuscripts for approval by the army. He is the author of two other books published in English, In the Name of God and Wolf Dreams. He lives in France.

Breaking the Tongue by Vyvyane Loh
Nominated by:
New York Public Library, USA

This brilliant novel chronicles the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in World War II. Central to the story is one Chinese family: Claude, raised to be more British than the British and ashamed of his own heritage; his father, Humphrey, whose Anglophilia blinds him to possible defeat and his wife's dalliances; and the redoubtable Grandma Siok, whose sage advice falls on deaf ears.
With penetrating observation, Vyvyane Loh unfolds the coming-of-age story of a young man and a nation, a story that deals with myth, race, and class, with the ways language shapes perceptions, and with the intrigue and suffering of war.

Vyvyane Loh was born in Malaysia and grew up in Singapore. She now lives outside Boston, USA.

Don't Move by Margaret Mazzantini
Translated from the Italian by John Cullen
Nominated by:
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale de Roma, Rome, Italy

Timoteo, a high-flying surgeon with a beautiful wife, seems the epitome of success and glamour. But then his daughter falls off her scooter and is rushed to the hospital in a coma. A colleague operates on her head injuries and, while the agonised Timoteo awaits the outcome, he holds the reader in the vice-like grip of his confession.
For, beneath the veneer of his apparently charmed life, there is a story of squalor, degradation, deceit and strange passion. In the end, the suspense of wondering whether Timoteo's daughter will live is overtaken by the question of deciding just how much pity her guilty father deserves.

The Master by Colm Tóibín
Nominated by:
State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, State Library of Queensland, Bibliotheck, 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 Internatioanal IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona, The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

The Logogryph by Thomas Wharton
Nominated by:
Calgary Public Library, Canada, Edmonton Public Library, Canada
In a small town in the mountains, a young boy is given a suitcase filled with battered old books. So begins a lifelong pursuit of the elusive creature known as the logogryph. Describing imaginary books and alternate realities, Wharton explores the mysterious alchemy called reading, and along the way summons a cast of characters that includes duelling margin scribblers, a dislodged protagonist, and an unforgettable family that becomes one man's mythology.
Thomas Wharton has published two previous award-winning novels, Icefields and Salamander. He lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and three children.

Comments from the Judges:

The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra - "a sociological novel .., with very moving characters.. about love and life destroyed by madness and the violence of fundamentalism"

Breaking the Tongue by Vyvyane Loh - " a passionate story of a young man and of a young nation looking for personal identity"

An Altered Light by Jens Christian Gr?ndahl - "An intriguing exploration of the link between chance and relationships. No marriage, no parent-child bond, no friendship is quite what it seems in this startling European narrative"

The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe - "A funny, penetrating comedy of contemporary manners which captures the rise and fall of two generations in England, landing us firmly in the era of Blair and Brown. ... cheerful, bitchy and intelligent."

Havoc in its Third Year by Ronan Bennett - "Ronan Bennett's 1630s England holds disturbing parallels for the contemporary reader. ..The sophistication of this story together with a vivid canvas of characters combine to grip the reader throughout."

Don't Move by Margaret Mazzantini - "the beautiful, tender story of a surgeon's secret past, told at the point where his only daughter suffers a road accident. ..(a) harrowing mixture of drama and reflection".

Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam -"lays out a new territory for British fiction. The book is written with a magical, poetic intensity"

The Logogryph by Thomas Wharton -"fascinating exploration of the power, latent and realized, of the book and the reader. This is superb, ground- breaking story telling".

GraceLand by Chris Abani  - Heartbreaking and humorous, Abani`s superbly written novel is a decisive moment in post-colonial literature.

The Master by Colm Tóibín -" It would be difficult to imagine a more worthy tribute to (Henry) James than this well researched, carefully measured, finely nuanced, poetic and compelling novel.

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

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.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was established by Civic Charter in 1995, the Lord Mayor of Dublin is its Patron. Awarded annually, with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature, it is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the book 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, the award has operated as a partnership between IMPAC and the Dublin City Council.

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.

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, 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. 


ANDY THIBAULT, Chairman                                                                                                            

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