The IMPAC shortlist has arrived. If you don’t know about the IMPAC, it’s a very unique prize with a very long longlist. This year’s longlist was composed of nominees from 169 libraries in 45 countries around the world. Those picks are then whittled down to a shortlist via a panel of judges. As you’ll see from the shortlist, since the process leading up to this award takes so long, some of the books aren’t exactly new. I think involving libraries makes the IMPAC unique compared to a lot of other awards out there. It seems a lot more egalitarian than, say, the Booker or the National Book Award, and I appreciate the international flavor as well. There’s more info about the award at the IMPAC site. Now, here’s the shortlist with some comments:
- Arthur and George by Julian Barnes – Was shortlisted for the Booker back in 2005 – excerpt
- A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry – Joined Barnes on the 2005 Booker shortlist.
- Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee – This book was featured in our long ago post “The beauty of British book design.”
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – Corey took a look at this book in a “CVBoMC” installment last year. – excerpt.
- The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs – This debut effort by British novelist Hobbes was nominated by a single library in Bergen, Norway
- No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy – With The Road getting all the praise these days, some might forget that McCarthy’s previous novel hit shelves just 21 months ago, a blink of an eye for a writer who’s written ten books in 41 years – excerpt
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – This book by the Norwegian Petterson won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize last year. It’ll be published in the U.S. next month.
- Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie – Shalimar was a Whitbread finalist in 2005, but generally the book is not thought to be one of Rushdie’s best efforts. The book was nominated by a library in Berlin – excerpt