When his band’s newsletter mentioned that Willy Vlautin (Lean on Pete) would be buying rounds of drinks if Vlautin takes home the IMPAC literary award for which he’s been shortlisted, we just took it to mean that there’d be a general cause for celebration. We then clicked the link for a little more info and, holy crap! The IMPAC is a €100,000 prize, roughly 160,000 U.S. dollars. The Vlautin camp wasn’t kidding, and, as it turns out, Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn) is in the running to raise a few glasses, too.
The IMPAC is an international fiction prize managed by the Dublin City Public Libraries that is billed as “the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English.” This year’s ten finalists were shortlisted from 147 titles nominated by 162 libraries from 45 countries speaking 18 different languages. A five-member international panel of judges will select one winner who will be announced by the Lord Mayor of Dublin on June 13. NWBL wishes the best of luck to 2011 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner Marlantes and 2011 Oregon Book Award winner Vlautin. Oh—two beers, one bourbon and one red wine, please.