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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Prize Update - four award winners

Prize update time, as there has been a few prizes announced in the last few weeks.

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Winner.

Columbian writer Juan Gabriel Vasquez took out the 75,000 Euro winner’s prize cheque for his work “The Sound Of Things Falling” with the translator, Anne McLean taking home 25,000 Euros.  The judges said:

The Sound of Things Falling is a consummate literary thriller that resonates long after the final page. Through a masterly command of layered time periods, spiralling mysteries and a noir palette, it reveals how intimate lives are overshadowed by history; how the past preys on the present; and how the fate of individuals as well as countries is moulded by distant, or covert, events.”

Interestingly this same novel made the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist in 2013, with two other works on the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award shortlist performing better with the Independent judges. Andres Neuman’s “Traveller of the Century” making the shortlist and Gerbrand Bakker winning the award for “The Detour”.

For more details of the IMPAC Dublin Award announcement for 2014 go to

Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

First time novelist Eimear McBride won the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with her novel “A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing”. The 30,000 pound prize (and a limited edition bronze figurine) was awarded in early June with the chair of judges saying “An amazing and ambitious first novel that impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy. This is an extraordinary new voice – this novel will move and astonish the reader.”

McBride beat Man Booker Prize Shortlisted “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri as well as Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning “The Goldfinch”, along with three other shortlisted works.

The Baileys Prize was formerly known as the Orange Prize and is awarded to a full-length novel in English. For more details of the Award visit

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize

Last weekend saw St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford come alive with a weekend of translation activities. This all culminated in the presentation of the 2014 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Susan Wicks took out the award for her translation of Valerie Rouzeau’s “Talking Vrouz”. The judges said:

Talking Vrouz is a wonderfully inventive and yet faithful translation of poems which are already at an oblique angle to their own language (French). Susan Wicks renders a unique poetic voice, with all its eccentricities and privacies, into a matching English.  The translation is exact, inventive and full of life, and offers readers something new and startling in English poetry.   

The shortlist contained novels, short stories and poetry and celebrates the craft of translation and to recognise its cultural importance.

Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

The Walter Scott Prize is a 25,000 pound award given for historical fiction. The winner was announced last weekend from a shortlist of six books.

Kate Atkinson – Life After Life
Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
Jim Crace – Harvest
Andrew Greig – Fair Helen
Robert Harris – An Officer And A Spy
Ann Weisgarber – The Promise

The winner was announced last Friday night, however the website hasn’t been updated with the details. Winner was Robert Harris for “An Officer And A Spy” and the judges said as follows when announcing the shortlist:

A brilliant retelling of a scandal that became the biggest miscarriage of justice in history, the Drefus Affair, which took place in France in the late 1890s.  Robert Harris lives in Berkshire and is the author of international bestsellers such as Enigma and Fatherland.

For details on the shortlist you can go to  (you’re going to have to trust me on the winner – prior winner Tan Twan Eng  for “The Garden Of Evening Mists” advised the winner via Facebook) 

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