Jim Crace wins International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

This year’s International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has been presented to Harvest by English author Jim Crace. Sponsored solely by the city of Dublin, the prize is the world’s largest presented to a single work of fiction, valued at €100,000. It is open to authors of any nationality and novels written in any language so long as an English translation is made available in the same calendar year as its original publication, and is post-dated by two years from date of publication (so all of this year’s nominees were published no later than 2013). Nominations come from public libraries around the world.

Crace says of his win:

It has been an overwhelming surprise and a delight to discover that my latest book has won the IMPAC Dublin award. Harvest proved to be a generous novel in the writing. Readers and critics were more than generous in their responses. And now, thanks to the further generosity of a whole wide-world network of book-loving strangers, Harvest has struck lucky again – it will be included in the distinguished and twenty-year-long list of fiction honoured by this truly international and discriminating award. No writer could hope for more than that.

Of Crace’s work, the award’s judges say:

At times, Harvest reads like a long prose poem; it plays on the ear like a river of words. But then again, Jim Crace is a consummate wordsmith; his understanding of human nature is uncanny and he never drops a stitch from start to finish. All human life is here: its graces and disgraces and there is life too in every small stone, flower and blade of grass. A powerful and compelling novel, Harvest is a worthy winner of the International Dublin IMPAC Prize.

Crace took the prize over a list of names largely familiar from the past couple of years’ worth of literary awards: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; Burial Rites by Hannah Kent; K by Bernardo Kucinski (translated by Sue Branford); Brief Loves That Live Forever by Andreï Makine (translated by Geoffrey Strachan); TransAtlantic by Colum McCann; Horses of God by Mahi Binebine (translated by Lulu Norman); Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Someone by Alice McDermott; and Sparta by Roxana Robinson.

Past winners of the prize include Colm Tóibin, Orhan Pamuk and Michel Houellebecq. Past nominees include several of the most important literary authors of the last twenty years.