Can YOU predict the winner?

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THE 2012 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlist was announced today. The judging panel have dutifully selected interesting and diversely themed novels.

Out of the ten shortlisted titles briefly outlined here, can YOU predict the winner? 

Let us know who you think will win by posting a comment on this blog post.


Rocks in the BellyRocks in the Belly by Jon Bauer (British-Australian)

Rocks in the Belly is about a precocious eight-year-old boy and the volatile adult he becomes.

During childhood his mother fosters boys, despite the jealous turmoil it arouses in her son.

Jealousy that reaches unmanageable proportions when she fosters Robert, an amiable child.

A compelling, powerful, and yet beautiful and funny novel.



The Matter with MorrisThe Matter with Morris by David Bergen (Canadian)

When Morris Schutt, a prominent newspaper columnist, surveys his life over the past year, he sees disaster everywhere.

His son has just been killed in Afghanistan, his psychiatrist wife, Lucille, seems headed for the door.

What is a thinking man to do but turn to Cicero and Plato and Socrates in search of the truth?

Or better still, call one of those discreet “dating services” in search of happiness? But happiness, as Morris discovers, is not that easy to find.



A Visit from the Goon SquadA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (American)

Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.

Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs.

With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.





The Memory of LoveThe Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Born in Britain, raised in Sierra Leone)

Freetown, Sierra Leone: a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with terrible secrets to keep.

In the capital’s hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor who recalls the love that obsessed him and drove him to acts that are far from heroic.

The Memory of Love is a heartbreaking story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.



Even the DogsEven the Dogs by Jon McGregor (British)

On a cold, quiet day between Christmas and the New Year, a man's body is found in an abandoned apartment.

His friends look on, but they're dead, too. Victims of a bad batch of heroin, they're hanging in the shadows.

Intense, exhilarating, and shot through with hope and fury, Even the Dogs is an intimate exploration of life at the edges of society--littered with love, loss, despair, and a half-glimpse of redemption.




MatterhornMatterhorn by Karl Marlantes (American)

Written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war.

It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.



LandedLanded by Tim Pears (British)

Brought up in the Anglo-Welsh borders by an affectionate but alcoholic and feckless mother, Owen Ithell’s sense of self is rooted in his long, vivid visits to his grandparents’ small farm in the hills.

As an adult he moves to an English city where he builds a new life, working as a gardener. He meets Mel, they have children. He believes he has found happiness – and love – of a sort.

But a tragic accident changes the course of his life and the lives of those he loves are changed forever.




LimassolLimassol by Yishai Sarid (Israeli) Translated from Hebrew by Barbara Harshav

A high-ranking official in the Israeli secret service is handed a new brief: go undercover as an aspiring novelist to befriend Daphna, an Israeli writer, and her friend Hani, a renowned Palestinian poet.

The target is Hani’s son Yotam, a wanted terrorist leader. As the undercover agent becomes ingrained in Daphna and Hani’s lives, his own well-entrenched sense of right and wrong is clouded.

A spellbinding novel that takes the reader on a tumultuous journey through the conflicted Israeli mind.



The Eternal SonThe Eternal Son by Cristovão Tezza, (Brazilian) Translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin

In this multi-award-winning autobiographical novel, Cristovão Tezza draws his readers into the mind of a young father whose son, Felipe, is born with Down syndrome.

From the initial shock of diagnosis, and through his growing understanding of the world of hospitals and therapies, Tezza threads the story of his son’s life with his own.

The Eternal Son is an honest and insightful story by one of Brazil’s foremost contemporary novelists.



Lean on PeteLean on Pete by Willy Vlautin (American)

Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson wants a home. But as the son of single father working at warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, Charley’s been pretty much on his own for sometime.

Lean on Pete opens as Charley and his father arrive in Portland, Oregon and Charley takes a stables job, illegally, at the local race track where he meets Pete, an old horse who becomes his companion as he’s forced to try and make his own way in the world.

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