The Mookse and the Gripes discussion

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Other Prizes > International Dublin Literary Award (formerly IMPAC Prize)

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Jun 27, 2019 02:20AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments The 2016 winner was announced recently as Akil Sharma's Family Life, which also won the 2015 Folio Prize, winning from a reasonably strong shortlist including the 2015 Booker winner,

Past winners: (work in progress)

1996 Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
1997 A Heart So White by Javier Marias
1998 The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller
1999 Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller
2000 Wide Open by Nicola Barker
2001 No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
2002 Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
2003 My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
2004 This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
2005 The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2006 The Master by Colm Tóibín
2007 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
2008 De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
2009 Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
2010 The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
2011 Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
2012 Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
2013 City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
2014 The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
2015 Harvest by Jim Crace
2016 Family Life by Akil Sharma
2017 A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa
2018: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
2019: Idaho by Emily Ruskovich


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments The great thing about this prize is that it treats translated and original English books on the same terms, I think uniquely in major literary prizes in Europe. (No doubt I will be corrected),

Rather an odd and lengthy nomination process, involving nominations from libraries around the world, which means a) the longlist is a little eclectic b) the prize is rather delayed. Indeed to be eligible for the "2016" prize a book has to be published in English in 2014 and oddly it also has to have been published in the original language between 2010-2014.

But the process does ultimately turn out a pretty impressive list of of winners.


message 3: by Paul (last edited Oct 26, 2020 08:55AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Looking back, I've read 19 of the 25 winners to date (not read 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012).

I'd rank them as follows, with the top 7 all excellent books and only really one stinker (De Niro's Game).

1 A Heart so White, Javier Marias (1997)
2 Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson (2007)
3 Milkman, Anna Burns (2020)
4 Solar Bones, Mike McCormack (2018)
5 The Twin, Gerbrand Bakker (2010)
6 My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk (2003)
7 Harvest, Jim Crace (2015)
8 Ingenious Pain, Andrew Miller (1999)
9 Atomised, Michel Houellebecq (2002)
10 Wide Open, Nicola Barker (2000)
11 A General Theory of Oblivion, José Eduardo Agualusa (2017)
12 City of Bohane, Kevin Barry (2013)
13 Remembering Babylon, David Malouf (1996)
14 Idaho, Emily Ruskovich (2019)
15 The Sound of Things Falling, Juan Gabriel Vasquez (2014)
16 The Land of Green Plums, Herta Muller (1998)
17 Family Life, Akhil Sharma (2016)
18 The Master, Colm Toibin (2006)
19 De Niro's Game, Rawi Hage (2008)


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Updated above for the 2016 winner, Family Life.

Just didn't work for me - although it also won the Folio Prize, so I suspect the emphasis is on "for me" and others would get more out of it.


message 5: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3090 comments Mod
I have only read 9 of them - as with so many prizes, the ones I know include some fairly strange choices - my ordered list is:

1 My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
2 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
3 Harvest by Jim Crace
4 A Heart So White by Javier Marias
5 The Master by Colm Tóibín
6 Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
7 Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller
8 The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
9 The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller


message 6: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Let's see, I've read . . . wow, more than I thought! And I've got A Heart So White in my "I hope to read this soon" (IHRTS) pile. Here's how I would place the seven I've read:

1. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
2. The Master by Colm Tóibín
3. The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
4. Harvest by Jim Crace
5. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
6. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
7. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The only one I was really so-so on is Let the Great World Spin, and I liked it just fine. That means I've been quite happy with this prize, even though I've never particularly followed it!

Paul, I didn't know you thought so poorly of The Master! It's been years since I read it, but it's one of my highlights from a significant Booker year for me.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Trevor wrote: "Let's see, I've read . . . wow, more than I thought! And I've got A Heart So White in my "I hope to read this soon" (IHRTS) pile. Here's how I would place the seven I've read:

1. No Great Mischief..."


Years since I read the Master and can't remember much but I rank all the books I read in a year and it is a fair way down the list.


message 8: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Though I understand all reasons not to rank things, I like the exercise. It forces me to really evaluate the books in a way I normally don't. I've never tried to rank the books I've read in a year . . . but I'm going to now!


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments The longlist - and it is very long - for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award is out. Actually more a list of nominated books from libraries around the world.

http://www.dublinliteraryaward.ie/nom...

Pretty solid list of the best books of 2015 with almost too many possible winners to list. So e.g. we have this year's Booker winner (unusually as its for 2015 published books) plus 3 of the 2015 shortlist, the 2015 Goldsmiths Prize winner, books from past Booker legends like Banville, Ishiguro and Rushdie and 43 books in translation including works from the BTBA and MBI lists.

The real action starts in April when the shortlist comes out - unless anyone really feels like shadowing the jury and reading all 147 books from the longlist!


message 10: by Amanda (last edited Nov 21, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) | 96 comments What a great list. How long is the shortlist? This isn't an award I've followed before but lots on that list I'd be happy to read. I've read 24 of them and am in the middle of The Sympathizer so will be 25.


message 11: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Amanda wrote: "What a great list. How long is the shortlist? This isn't an award I've followed before but lots on that list I'd be happy to read. I've read 24 of them and am in the middle of The Sympathizer so wi..."

Last year the shortlist was 10 books

18 for me I think of the longlist


message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) | 96 comments I'd love to read the whole longlist but I don't think I can fit that in ;). Will definitely give the shortlist a go.


message 13: by Paul (last edited Nov 22, 2016 12:16AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments An entertainingly opinionated look through the list from Eileen Battersby: http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/boo...

Sample views - Hot Milk is "glib, overrated" and The Sellout "predictable and cliched", and Margaret Attwood's novels are "invariably fierce and witty, if rarely high art" and she goes on to explain why other, less well known, novels on the list are better in her view.


message 14: by Paul (last edited Apr 11, 2017 12:33AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Shortlist for the 2017 Prize (but actually for books published in 2015):

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk translated by Ekin Oklap.

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler translated by Charlotte Collins.

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn

Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto translated by David Brookshaw.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine translated by Martin Aitken.

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli translated by Christina MacSweeney

The Green Road by Anne Enright

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.

A strong looking list although as with the recent Folio Prize quite a lot of overlap with other prizes, notably 3 from the 2016 MBI list, 2 from the 2015 Booker and a Pulitzer winner.

More forgivable for the Impac though as it’s methodology means it gets to books much later than other prizes, and we do get to see translated and non-translated fiction competing head to head.

I have read the first 5 listed of which the Pamuk book is my favourite, I will read the winner (if I haven’t already) but not all of the shortlist as I am a little awarded-out at present.

But I am intrigued by The Prophets of Eternal Fjord as it is the one translated book I hadn't come across - and it got 5 stars on Winstonsdad's blog https://winstonsdad.wordpress.com/201... and won the Nordic Literature Prize (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_...)


message 15: by Dan (new)

Dan I've read six. Strangeness in My Mind may be the strongest, and I also especially enjoyed A Whole Life and A General Theory of Oblivion. For me, one advantage of the Impac methodology is that all of the shortlisted books are readily available in my local library network.


message 16: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3090 comments Mod
I have only read The Green Road and The Sympathizer, but A Strangeness in my Mind is on my physical to-read shelf (I must admit it has been there a while, and its size makes it rather intimidating). A General Theory of Oblivion was already on my radar, and some of the others look intriguing (I don't fancy reading A Little Life though - my little life is too short).


message 17: by Dan (new)

Dan Hugh wrote: "I have only read The Green Road and The Sympathizer, but A Strangeness in my Mind is on my physical to-read shelf (I must admit it has been there a while, and its size makes it rather intimidating)..."

Good choices there, Hugh. A Strangeness in My Mind is long but compelling and memorable. After having read A Little Life, I endorse avoiding it.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Eileen Battersby's take on the shortlist, well-informed and opinionated as usual. She sees it as The Sympathizer vs. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord, with Green Road as the home favourite.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo...


message 19: by Ctb (new)

Ctb | 197 comments Paul wrote: "Eileen Battersby's take on the shortlist, well-informed and opinionated as usual. She sees it as The Sympathizer vs. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord, with Green Road as the home favourite.

https://w..."


I take heart and delight in Battersby's pithy and fluid, error-free prose - a rarity. If only others "writing" for public consumption were interested foremost in producing a polished product.


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Ctb wrote: "Paul wrote: "Eileen Battersby's take on the shortlist, well-informed and opinionated as usual. She sees it as The Sympathizer vs. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord, with Green Road as the home favourit..."

She is a class apart amongst literary journalists, at least this side of the Atlantic.

I know you've read The Sympathizer - do you share her views?


message 21: by Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer (last edited Apr 13, 2017 01:54AM) (new)

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments I have read 5 of the list.

Some of them - A Little Life, The Green Road and A Whole LifeI would rank as among the most disappointing novels I have read in the last 18 months or so, as none for me lived up to their considerable literary hype.

A General Theory of Oblivion was one of my rare 1* ratings.

My favourite of those I have read is by far A Strangeness in My Mind - although I am biased here as I travelled to Istanbul on business several times over the last few years and rank it as my favourite city.

I have not read The Sympathiser but I read The Refugees recently and thought it was excellent despite it being of a genre (short stories) that I don't enjoy. It seems The Sympathiser has very similar themes and settings but in a novel form so that looks a definite read. I will also try those of the others I can source from my local library.


message 22: by Dan (new)

Dan I recently started The Prophets of the Eternal Fjord: an intriguing beginning and I'm eager to read more.

I read both Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer and The Refugees. I found parts of The Sympathizer interesting and parts tiresome, and I much preferred Refugees.

I'm hoping to read Confessions of the Lioness, The Story of My Teeth, and Under the Udala Tree, all of which I've been borrowed from our local library network.


message 23: by Dan (last edited May 03, 2017 04:04AM) (new)

Dan A 500 plus page novel about a Norwegian pastor set in late eighteenth century Norway, Denmark, and Greenland normally would not interest me. And if Prophets of Eternal Fjord hadn’t been shortlisted for the DLA, I doubt that I would have heard of it: a quick Google search reveals little critical attention in the U.S. and the U.K. PEF feels too long at times, it’s easy to lose track of some minor characters, and it’s a bit of a soap opera. But despite these caveats, PEF is a remarkable work of imagination, absorbing, and transporting, although some readers may not want to be transported to where Leine takes them.

Of those that I’ve read, my current rankings are:
1. A Strangeness in My Mind
2. The Green Road (last read in 2015, and plan to reread soon)
3. Prophets of Eternal Fjord
4. Under the Udala Trees
5. A Whole Life
6. A General Theory of Oblivion
7. The Sympathizer
8. The Story of My Teeth
9. A Little Life
My rankings of Pamuk, Enright, and Leine feel firm to me, as does Yanagihara. The ranks that I assigned to the others feel a bit random to me right now.

I started Confession of the Lioness: it's not to my taste, and will remain unfinished for now. Even though the DLA lags a year of two behind publication dates, it’s a pleasure to easily (and inexpensively) access the entire shortlist.


message 24: by Paul (last edited May 17, 2017 01:33PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments I hate to say it as I like this award, but I am not too taken with this year's list. Too many of them fall into the "mostly harmless" category - I don't dislike any of them but there is nothing really striking and award-winning worthy.

1. A Strangeness in My Mind
2. A Little Life
3. Prophets of Eternal Fjord
4. A General Theory of Oblivion
5. The Sympathizer
6. The Green Road
7. Under the Udala Trees
8. Confessions of the Lioness
9. A Whole Life
10. Story of My Teeth

It's telling that my favourite is although good, far from Pamuk's best book. And my 2nd a book I described in my 2015 Booker reviews as "massively flawed, and in many respects I hated it but it does ultimately stand out as the most interesting and powerful novel" which also applies here.


message 25: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3090 comments Mod
My rather short list:
1. The Green Road
2. A Strangeness in My Mind
3. The Sympathizer

Agree with Paul that none of them stand out, in fact there is little to separate all three of them...


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments I ought to try The Green Road from the rankings above.

I hadn't as I tried The Gathering and thought it was pretty dire - felt like it was reverse engineered to win book prizes - is The Green Road better?


message 27: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3090 comments Mod
If you didn't like The Gathering I wouldn't hold out too much hope - I think the Green Road is subtler but it is quite similar


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments It felt to me like exactly the sort of book Marlon James was talking about in this article https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments I don't think you would enjoy it Paul.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Gumble's Yard wrote: "I don't think you would enjoy it Paul."

Wasn't written in Irish by any chance and translated into English? Or is there a version where someone has translated a translation back to English? Those would help my appreciation.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments I don't think you would particularly enjoy it - even if it was translated. I ranked 3rd but only as the standard of competition is so low. As per my comment above when the shortlist was published: I would rank this, Little Life and A Whole Life as among the most disappointing novels I have read in the last 18 months or so, as none for me lived up to their considerable literary hype.


message 32: by Paul (last edited May 04, 2017 07:39AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments A Little Life and A Whole Life are very different though.

One is deliberately written with "everything turned up a little too high"(https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...) and tends to repel as much as it attracts. I can see though its merits on ambition alone and whatever else it is, it isn't mostly harmless.

The other is, to me, a rather simple story, quite well told, but with no seeming substance, and arrived with relatively limited hype.
But it seems to oddly appeal to prize juries. It actually took out another prestigious prize - from translations from German - last month (https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/kul/s...)


message 33: by Karen (new)

Karen (bookertalk) | 41 comments I don't undrstand how The Green Road got on so many long/shortlists. It was very good in part (the section set in USA when Aids was beginning to be noticed) but overall I thought it lacked the pizzazz I expect from an award winner.


message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Well if the Gathering was any guide, it felt like it had been reverse engineered to win prizes.


message 35: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) | 96 comments Here's my order (of the ones that I have read)
1. A Little Life
2. The Green Road
3. Under the Udala Trees
4. A General Theory of Oblivion
5. The Sympathizer


message 36: by Paul (last edited May 06, 2017 01:51PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments I feel a dynamic ranking coming on.....

[see below for update]

Despite the discussion immediately above Green Road comes up very high! Karen have you read enough to add a ranking and help sink it back where it apparently belongs.


message 37: by Dan (new)

Dan Paul wrote: "Despite the discussion immediately above Green Road comes up very high! Karen have you read enough to add a ranking and help sink it back where it apparently belongs."

I plan to reread The Green Road within a few weeks, and may ranking of it may change. The Prophets of Eternal Fjord is remaining with me more than Green Road ever did.


message 38: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments To be fair the whole discussion was prompted by my observing how well ranked it was by everyone. Gumble, who knows me rather well given our shared genetic make up, was more opening it would not be to my personal taste.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments It was not to my taste either but most of the rest of the list was even weaker in my view.


message 40: by Neil (last edited May 04, 2017 02:30PM) (new)

Neil | 1858 comments I've read 7 of these, so my list is:

1 The Sympathiser
2 A Strangeness in My Mind
3 The Story of My Teeth
4 A Little Life
5 A General Theory of Oblivion
6 The Green Road
7 A Whole Life

Not sure I will read any of the missing 3, though - there's a few too many books on the pile waiting to be read with more already scheduled to arrive!


message 41: by Karen (new)

Karen (bookertalk) | 41 comments Dan wrote: "Paul wrote: Karen have you read enough to add a ranking and help sink it back where it apparently belongs."

I plan to rerea..."


I don't think I can really give it a ranking since I've read only two from this list - have more of them in the queue but won't get to them soon


message 42: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Two is fine. Still then factors in your views.


message 43: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (brandiec) | 44 comments I was staying out of the ranking process since I have only read three, but in light of Paul's comment, I'm throwing in my three cents' worth:

1. A General Theory of Oblivion
2. The Sympathizer
3. A Little Life


message 44: by Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer (last edited Jun 21, 2017 03:55PM) (new)

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments Update from me - having read "Confessions of a Lioness". A disappointing read and a 2* book but that still puts it quite a way up given the paucity of the shortlist. Read 9 now - not sure I will read "Eternal Fjord" as my library does not seem to stock it

1 A Strangeness in My Mind
2 Prophets of the Eternal Fjord
3 The Sympathizer
4 The Green Road
5 A Little Life
6 Under the Udala Trees
7 Confessions of a Lioness
8 A Whole Life
9 Story of My Teeth
10 A General Theory of Oblivion


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5236 comments As an aside just looking at the (very) longlist my own shortlist would have included four books which I think are better than any on the actual shortlist Dictator, A God in Ruins, The Buried Giant, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.


message 46: by Paul (last edited May 06, 2017 01:22PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Gumble's Yard wrote: "As an aside just looking at the (very) longlist my own shortlist would have included four books which I think are better than any on the actual shortlist.."

Yes there are plenty better on the long- than short-list on there. On the translated side it is almost bizarre someone could pick some of those on the shortlist and overlook important novels like The Physics of Sorrow and The Meursault Investigation.


message 47: by Will (new)

Will I've only read six and I doubt that I will get to the remaining titles.
Here are my rankings from those read.

1. Strangeness in My Mind
2. The Green Road
3. Under the Udala Trees
4. The Sympathizer
5. A Little Life
6. The Story of My Teeth


message 48: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments I have now read:

- Prophets of Eternal Fjord (review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), which was enjoyable although not unflawed
and
- Story of My Teeth (review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) which I thought was very superficial

100 pages into Green Road, I'm struggling what elevates this above say a Catherine Cookson novel. With all the wonderful writers coming out of Ireland at the moment - Eimear McBride, Kevin Barry (who to be fair won the 2013 award), Mike McCormack, Lisa McInerney etc- it is rather disappointing that this has been picked to fly the home flag.


message 49: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments Oh, I loved The Green Road. See what you think when you've finished. It definitely builds.


message 50: by Paul (last edited May 17, 2017 01:33PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8482 comments Ang wrote: "Oh, I loved The Green Road. See what you think when you've finished. It definitely builds."

I recall you had this top of your list on the 2015 Booker dynamic rankings on the old M&G forum in pre Goodreads days - and A Little Life last I think.

It certainly got better - although ultimately it was OK for me no more https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

That's the list finished for me - and The Green Road slots in at number 6.


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