Friday, June 06, 2014

RPL nominates for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Did you know that Richmond Public Library is a nominating library system for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award?  
It's true!

The award, which "aims to promote excellence in world literature", was established in 1994, the first prize being awarded in 1996. Past winners include City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (2013), Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (2011), and My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (2003).  Nominations on the basis of "high literary merit" are made by hundreds of libraries in major and capital cities worldwide. 

The team has met, read, debated, discussed, read some more, discussed more, again with the reading some more, and finally we voted.  Now we proudly share with you our final 3 picks for the books published in 2013 which we felt were literary achievements worthy of this award  (drumroll, please):

The People in the Trees
By Hanya Yanagihara

This astonishing debut novel purports to be the memoir of Dr. Norton Perina, a scientist who seeks the secret to the apparent immortality of a primitive Micronesian people, with devastating consequences for them, and ultimately, for himself.  Although the narrator is despicable and his story unrelentingly pessimistic, this novel will haunt its readers long after they put it down.
The Good Lord Bird
By James McBride

Little Onion, a 10 year old slave boy, is mistaken for a girl after being freed by abolitionist John Brown and his raiders, and becomes an unwitting (and unwilling) participant in Brown's quixotic fight to end slavery.  His colloquial, tall-tale prose offers a humorous, irreverent perspective on the historic mythologies and realities of racism, and what happens when good intentions and good words are not enough.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
by Karen Joy Fowler
Equal parts funny and heartbreaking, Karen Joy Fowler's sixth novel "starts in the middle" and takes the reader back to the murky world of 1970s behavioral psychology experiments through the unreliable memories of a young woman recalling a childhood trauma that drastically altered her and her family.  The novel deftly explores ethics, memory, animal rights issues, and the meaning of family.  With a knockout twist that the author masterfully conceals, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a breathless joy to read.

The nominating team assembled at Cask to discuss their favorites to win.  There was much to toast about.

1 comment:

Ellen Wolf said...

Thanks to the RPL readers who worked so hard with me on this: Natalie Draper, Kevin Shupe, Tonya Tyler, and Clay Dishon. Thanks also to RPL retiree Beth Morelli, and to spouses and partners for their enthusiastic support.