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Toibin and Ahern among 
Irish Authors on IMPAC Longlist

Copyright 2005 The Irish Times
The Irish Times
November 22, 2005

Cecilia Ahern's PS I Love You and Colm Toibin's The Master are among six Irish books longlisted for the EUR 100,000 Impac Dublin Literary Award2006, writes Frank McNally.

The 132-strong list, which is to be announced today, also includes Ronan Bennett's Havoc in its Third Year, Roddy Doyle's Oh, Play That Thing, Frank Delaney's Ireland, and Tina Reilly's Something Borrowed.

The longlist for the IMPAC- literature's most lucrative prize for a single work - is compiled from nominations by 180 library networks in 124 cities around the world.

Toibin's book - which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize - tops the league of nominations with 17.

But previous winners of the 11-year-old award have included books that received a single nomination. On the 2006 list, PS I Love You is among works nominated by only one city library - in this case Liverpool's.

All 132 books on the longlist will now be read by an unpaid panel of judges including Irish writer Mary O'Donnell, Scottish novelist Andrew O'Hagan, and Dr Jane Koustas, professor of Canadian studies at University College Dublin.

A shortlist of about 10 authors will be announced next April and the winner will be named in June.

Eligibility for the longlist was confined to books published in 2004, hence the exclusion of John Banville's Man Booker Prize-winning The Sea, which came out this year.

But the list includes several novels that have already won major awards. These include the Pulitzer-winning Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - which received the most nominations (14) after The Master - and Lily Tuck's The News from Paraguay, winner of a US national book award.

The Man Booker shortlisted Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst are also nominated.

Other big names on the longlist are Tom Wolfe for I Am Charlotte Simmons and Joyce Carol Oates for The Falls. But the IMPAC has prided itself on introducing translated works to a wider readership; previous winners have included authors little known in the English-speaking world.

Five of the 10 previous winners have been translations into English, although this year's winner was The Known World by American Edward P Jones.

The 2006 nominees include 32 titles translated from 15 languages.

Literary Nomination Thrills Irish PM's Daughter 
November 22, 2005 
Copyright 2005 Agence France Presse
All Rights Reserved

Cecilia Ahern, daughter of Ireland's prime minister Bertie Ahern, expressed delight Tuesday at news that her first novel has been nominated for the richest literary honour for a single work.

Organisers of the IMPAC literary award said "PS, I Love You" was among 132 books long-listed for the 100,000 euro(117,000 dollar) prize, based on nominations from 180 libraries in 43 countries.

"It's great. I am still getting used to it," the 24-year-old novelist told Ireland's RTE public radio. Her fellow nominees include a Pulitzer prizewinner and a writer previously shortlisted for Britain's best-known literary gong, the Booker Prize.

Judges from Britain, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the United States now read all the books, with a shortlist of 10 to be announced in April next year and the winner in June.

"PS, I Love You" tells the story of a young widow left an unusual legacy by her husband; a series of letters to be opened each month following his death. It is currently being made into a film.

Ahern has since written two more novels: "Where Rainbows End" and "If You Could See Me Now," which is atop the Irish best-seller list.

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