International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

The shortlist for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has been announced. The winner will be announced in June. This contest caught my attention for two reasons: 1) Dublin and 2) Jennifer Egan is one of three American finalists on the shortlist.

Librarians from around the world can nominate books, and the origin of the award is fascinating. From the FAQ on the website:

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was established by Dublin City, Civic Charter in 1994. It arose from an initiative of Dublin Corporation, the Municipal Government of Dublin City on the instigation of the then Lord Mayor, Alderman Gay Mitchell who commissioned an expert group to consider and report on the feasibility of organising a Dublin Literary Award. The expert group comprised of Chair, Mr. Sean Donlon (of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and GPA), Deirdre Ellis-King, Dublin City Librarian, Professor Augustine Martin of University College Dublin, Senator David Norris, Trinity College Dublin and Colm O’Briain, formerly Director of the Irish Arts Council. Their Report was adopted by the City Council and incorporated into the Report of the Lord Mayor’s Commission on Economic Development in Dublin.

Who wouldn’t like one hundred thousand euros? Here are the nominees:

  • Yishai Sarid (translated from the Hebrew by Barbara Harshav): Limassol
  • Cristovão Tezza (translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin)The Eternal Son


Do YOU have any favorite book awards? Or, do you think awards are silly? I think awards are, at times, incestuous back patting and whatnot; however, most awards do nothing but breathe life into the literary world. Awards are good for books and writers. Some of my favorite awards are the Hugo, Nebula, Caldecott, and Newbery, because that’s how I roll; what about you?


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