LOOSE LEAVES: That parochial European business going on in Poland and Ukraine may be distracting, but don’t forget that on Wednesday, here in Ireland, a global contest will be decided when the world’s largest literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English is bestowed: the International Impac Dublin Literary Award.
This year, unusually, there are no Irish contenders to root for (unlike 2011, when the winner was Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, below), but the 10 writers on the shortlist for the €100,000 prize are an imaginative mix of newcomers (Jon Bauer, Karl Marlantes), established names (David Bergen, Jennifer Egan, Aminatta Forna, Jon McGregor, Tim Pears, Willy Vlautin) and translated authors (the Brazilian Cristavao Tezza and the Israeli Yishai Sarid).
The prize, adjudicated by a panel of judges from six countries, will be presented at the Mansion House in Dublin by the lord mayor, Anthony Montague, who says: “This is a shortlist of high-quality literature . . .These 10 novels have been shortlisted from a total of 147, nominated by 162 public-library systems in 45 countries worldwide, and represent the best of readers’ recommendations.”