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Five Irish novels on list for top award

Colum McCann

FIVE Irish novels have been nominated for an international literary prize worth €100,000.

Hosted by Dublin City Council, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the world's most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.

A total of 142 books have been nominated by libraries in major cities all around the world, including 49 translated works and authors from America, Britain, Australia and Italy.

The €100,000 prize fund is split €75,000 to €25,000 between author and translator if the book was not originally published in English.

The five Irish titles to have been nominated are The Herbalist, by Niamh Boyce, The Guts, by Roddy Doyle, TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann, The Rising of Bella Casey, by Mary Morrissy, and The Thing About December, by Donal Ryan.

McCann is one of two authors on the list to have previously won the prize. He won in 2011 with Let the Great World Spin, while Spanish author Javier Marías picked up the honour in 1997 for the English translation of A Heart So White.


Lord Mayor Christy Burke launched the 2015 award at the Dublin City and Library Archive yesterday.

"Initiatives such as this award, the Dublin Writer's Festival and One City, One Book have consolidated Dublin's position as a centre of literary excellence on the world stage."

Managed by Dublin City Council's Library Service, the award sees nominations from libraries in major cities all over the world.

The books were nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide with titles translated from 16 different languages.

Readers at home and abroad will find new books and new authors on the list, with 29 first novels included.

All of the nominated novels are available to borrow from Dublin's public libraries and readers are invited to pick their own favourites before the shortlist is made public on April 15 next year.

The most popular nomination this year is Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, which was chosen by 19 separate libraries in Europe, America and New Zealand - not far off the all-time record of 23 set by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon.


Other big name titles on the list include the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan, and The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride, which won the 2013 National Book Award.

The full list of 142 titles is available at impacdublinaward.ie with the winner due to be announced on June 17, 2015.