Enright, O'Connor make Impac longlist

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Two Irish novelists have been nominated for the world’s richest literary prize, the 2009 International Impac Dublin Literary Award, it was announced today.

The €100,000 award is the most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English in the world. Nominations for the prize come from 157 libraries in 117 cities and 41 countries worldwide.

Anne Enright has been nominated for the award by libraries in Dublin, Prague, San Francisco, San Diego, Brazil and Frankfurt for her 2008 Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Gathering. Joseph O’Connor has been nominated by libraries in Cork and Limerick for his latest book, Redemption Falls.

Other books nominated include The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Waoby Junot Diaz, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize, The Book of Negroesby Lawrence Hill, winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize and Omega Minorby Paul Verhaeghen, winner of the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Award.

Some of the nominated books were translated from languages such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Slovenian and Hebrew. Nineteen of the novels are from first-time writers, while translated works from established authors such as Peter Høeg and Haruki Murakami are also included.

Afghan/American writer Khaled Hosseini, who rose to prominence with The Kite Runner, is the libraries favourite to win the award with 18 nominations for A Thousand Splendid Suns. Divisaderoby Canadian Michael Ondaatje was nominated by 13 libraries and Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beachreceived 10 nominations.

Dublin City Council will announce the shortlist on April 2nd, 2009 and the winning novel will be revealed by the Lord Mayor of Dublin on June 11th, 2009.

Previous winners of the prestigious award include De Niro’s Gameby Rawi Hage, Out Stealing Horsesby Per Petterson and The Masterby Irish novelist Colm Tóibín.

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