By Alison Flood
Titans of international literature Haruki Murakami and Michel Houellebecq are going head-to-head on the shortlist for the €100,000 Impac award.
The Japanese and French favourites are two of 10 novelists in the final running for the International Impac Dublin award, with Murakami picked for surreal love story 1Q84, and Houellebecq for The Map and the Territory, which features the “celebrated novelist Michel Houellebecq” as a fictional character. The Impac is unique in that its longlist is voted for by libraries from around the world – Houellebecq received nominations from Barcelona and Berlin, and Murakami from South Africa, Ireland, the US and Germany – with a panel of judges selecting the shortlist and final winner.
This year’s line-up features the highest ever number of translated works, with Murakami and Houellebecq up against Icelandic star Sjón’s From the Mouth of the Whale, about an exiled poet, Dutch author Tommy Wieringa’s tale of a lonely musical prodigy Caesarion, and Norwegian debut novelist Kjersti Skomsvold’s The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, in which a lonely old woman tries to make her mark on the world.
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