Spaniard awarded £100,000 Dublin literary prize


SPAIN'S Javier Marias's A Heart So White has won the £100,000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Seven other books by authors from seven countries were also shortlisted.

The announcement was made yesterday at a gathering in the Long Room at Trinity College, Dublin.

The eight novels were described by the judges, who include Margaret Drabble, Josef Skyorecky, Jane Urquhart - short listed for last year's prize with her novel Away - Shawn Wong and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill.

It was Mr Wong who, when speaking of one novel, most accurately expressed the international aspect of the occasion As an American of Chinese ancestry, he was in Dublin describing Antonio Tahucehi's Declares Pereira, a novel by an Italian writer which is set in Portugal and has been translated into English.

The winning novel by the Spanish novelist and translator is a sophisticated intellectual thriller which explores multiple deception. Because it is a translation, the author will be presented with £75,000 while its translator, Margaret Julia Costa, will be awarded £25,000.

Also short listed were Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance; Duong Thu Huong's Novel Without A Name; Lars Gustafsson's A Tiler's Afternoon, Alan Warner's Morvern Callar; A.J. Verdelle's The Good Negress and Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues.

Now in its second year, the award was won last year by the Australian writer, David Malouf, with his novel Remembering Babylon. This year's prize will be formally presented to Mr Marias at a banquet at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin next month.