Impac Award 2015
The English novelist Jim Crace has won the €100,000 Impac Dublin literary award, leaving him free, he says, to retire and consider writing “as a hobby”.
The Guardian reports that the writer took the prize, one of the world’s richest for a single work of fiction, with Harvest, the story of the last days of an English village where an age-old way of life is ending, and where three mysterious strangers trigger a series of cataclysmic events.
Harvest was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize two years ago, but was beaten to that award by New Zealand author Eleanor Catton for The Luminaries. This time round, Crace’s novel beat works by writers including Richard Flanagan, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Colum McCann.
I always like to keep an eye on the Impac prize as titles are nominatedby librarians worldwide
Librarians representing “cities” nominate titles within certain criteria and date parameters. The prize as a whole was started and is administered under the auspices of Dublin City Libraries
Another reason to like it is that the date parameters are quite lengthy, so that allows an opportunity for a title that was actually published a couple of years ago, to still be eligible. This seems to me to mean that a book which has genuinely been read and appreciated by many readers can come through, Librarians, in my limited experience of nominating for Impac, tend to select titles that have been popular and in demand by their library users, rather than a newer, less “tested” title which happens to be currently “in favour”.
The Impac is also one of the few prizes which acknowledges the worldwide nature of publishing and the reach of many titles.
Harvest was nominated by Universitätsbibliothek Bern, Switzerland; and by LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee, USA.
It must be both rewarding and strange for the nominated authors to see that their books have made an impression in far-flung corners of the world.
Because countries can nominate titles that have been translated into English, as well as those written in English, there is a great range and diversity of title put forward. The Impac website is a great place to look for titles that might not otherwise come across your radar.