The IMPAC longlist was announced last November and with the shortlist announcement due on the 9th April the judges must be about half way in their progress. They have a mighty task. A total of 160 libraries from 120 cities in 44 countries nominated novels, written in English or translated into English. With some crossovers, a list of 154 novels first published in 2011 were nominated. It is the first time I have seen a printed leaflet of this longlist, which I picked up in my library.
The five judges facing this mammoth task are French author Salim Bachi, Estonian literary translater Krista Kaer, Irish novelist Patrick McCabe, Indian-born novelist Kamila Shamsie who lives in London and British author Clive Sinclair. Chair of the judges and non-voting is the Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, former US Chief Judge.
The nature of the nominations, being first published in 2011 means that many are very familiar and have been on longlists/shortlists for other literary awards. Several stood out for me and I would like to make my own shortlist which would be made up of the following books which I read last year and really enjoyed;
1. The Sisters Brothers - Patrick deWitt
2. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
3. The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides
4. Pure - Andrew Miller
5. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
6. The Tiger's Wife - Téa Obrecht
7. State of Wonder - Ann Patchett
If I could add two of my own choice I would include the 2012 Orange Prize shortlisted Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick and The Guardian First Book Award shortlisted The Submission by Amy Waldman.
Good luck to all the nominated authors.