Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dump it in the Mersey

Tuesday's Irish Times (subs. req'd) reports on the very long list of nominees for the Impac Literary award; in principle this is a run as a Man Booker style operation, but with bigger money and fewer restrictions on origin and even language of the author. But there are costs to this openness:

Cecilia (sic) Ahern's PS I Love You and Colm Tóibín's The Master are among six Irish books longlisted for the €100,000 Impac Dublin Literary Award 2006 ... The longlist for the Impac - literature's most lucrative prize for a single work - is compiled from nominations by 180 library networks in 124 cities around the world. Tóibín's book - which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize - tops the league of nominations with 17.

But previous winners of the 11-year-old award have included books that received a single nomination. On the 2006 list, PS I Love You is among works nominated by only one city library - in this case Liverpool's.

The literary feuds that inevitably mark these awards would be nothing to the salvoes that would ensue if a chick-lit novel by the Taoiseach's daughter won this award. Just who did the Liverpool city library put in charge of its nomination?

UPDATE: BBC picks up the story, and we've corrected confusion on our their part about how the talented novelist's (Cecelia) name is spelt.

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