Debut novel by US writer wins Impac


A debut novel by a Boston-born author has won the Impac Dublin Literary Award, it was announced this evening.

Michael Thomas’s book Man Gone Downtells the story of an Afro-American man who finds himself estranged from his wife and children.

The character has only four days to raise enough money to reunite the family and get his life on track.

The judging panel, which this year includes Irish academic and writer James Ryan, praised the book for its energy and warmth.

“Tuned urgently to the way we live now, the winner of the International Dublin Impac prize 2009 is a novel brilliant in its scope and energy, and deeply moving in its human warmth,” they said.

The winning novel beat stiff competition from other books including The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Waoby Junot Diaz and The Reluctant Fundamentalistby Mohsin Hamid.

The annual award is open to novels written in any language.

Previous winners include Rawi Hage for De Niro’s Gamein 2008 and Per Petterson for Out Stealing Horsesin 2007.