Impac Dublin's long, long, longlist
Longlists make strange fellows, Monday's announcement of the Impac Dublin Literary Prize longlist proves. Dan Brown, author of the mega-bestselling yet critically panned "The DaVinci Code" and Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, have both made the Impac Dublin's longlist. With an award of more than $160,000, the prize is among the world's largest for literature.
Pamuk and Brown aren't exactly literary compatriots; that they both made the list is due to its length. Because when the Impac Dublin Literary Prize has a longlist, it's a long, long, long list, including no less than 162 titles.
That's a huge number of books. Someone hoping to read all of them in the time before the shortlist is announced April 12 would have to read a book a day, every day, until then.
The super-long longlist is a result, at least in part, of the wide nomination process. Books published in English were nominated by librarians from 126 cities in 43 countries worldwide. A full fourth of those nominated this year are works originally published in another language which appear in English in translation.
Colum McCann's "Let the Great World Spin," which won the 2009 National Book Award, was among the most frequently nominated books, as was Colm Tóibín's "Brooklyn." Brown was nominated for "The Lost Symbol" and Pamuk for his novel "The Museum of Innocence." Other notable nominees include rocker Nick Cave for "The Death of Bunny Monro," Dave Eggers for his YA version of the classic children's book "The Wild Things," China Miéville's "The City and the City," Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry" and "The Anthologist" by Nicholson Baker.
Although no Los Angeles libraries helped nominate titles, two Southern California writers are on the longlist: T.C. Boyle for "The Women" and Michelle Huneven for "Blame."
At least, I think it's two -- with a list this long I might have missed some.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photos: Left, Dan Brown in 2003. Credit: Tim Boyd / Associated Press. Right, Orhan Pamuk in 2010. Credit: Murad Sezer / Reuters