The IMPAC Award shortlist was announced today. The IMPAC sets itself apart with its unique approach. Its massive longlist is compiled by libraries all over the world before being whittled down by judges. This makes for a more egalitarian selection. It’s also got a long lead time. Books up for the current prize (to be named June 15th) were all published in 2009, putting the IMPAC more than a year behind other big literary awards. There’s a distinct upside in this. By now, nearly all the shortlisted books are available in paperback in the U.S. The IMPAC also tends to be interesting for the breadth of books it considers.
This year’s shortlist is typically eclectic, representing four countries and ranging from bestsellers, to relative unknowns.
Galore by Michael Crummey
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
Ransom by David Malouf
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
Brooklyn by Colm Toibín
Love and Summer by William Trevor
After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld