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Impac Award Winner 2014

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Juan Gabriel Vásquez wins the 2014 Award for The Sound of Things Falling

Juan Gabriel Vásquez lived in Europe for 16 years before returning to his native Bogotá, Colombia. He is the author of two previous novels, The Informers and The Secret History of Costaguana. His books have been published in fifteen languages worldwide.

The shortlist of ten novels, as chosen by an international panel of judges included novels from five continents. Juan Gabriel Vásquez is the first South American author to win the prize in its 19 year history.

Commenting on his win, Juan Gabriel Vásquez said:
"For me, it’s all about the names: the names of writers who have received the award before me and whose work I’ve admired and looked up to; but particularly the name of James Joyce. I have often said that there are two books that made me want to become a writer: One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I read when I was 16, and Ulysses, which I read three years later. I’ve always felt at home in Dublin and in Irish literature. So in more ways than one, this prize is a sort of homecoming."

The Sound of Things Falling winner of the Dublin Literary Award 2014

The winning novel was translated from Spanish by Canadian translator, Anne McLean who said “It’s such a thrill to see a novel I translated win the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. I love that libraries nominate the books eligible for this prize and that translated novels are considered on an equal footing with books originally written in English. The Sound of Things Falling is a wonderful and important novel and I hope this will mean it can reach even wider readership in the English-speaking world.”

The Sound of Things Falling is the eighth novel in translation to win the award since its inception in 1996.

The judges commented:
“The Sound of Things Falling is a consummate literary thriller that resonates long after the final page. Through a masterly command of layered time periods, spiralling mysteries and a noir palette, it reveals how intimate lives are overshadowed by history; how the past preys on the present; and how the fate of individuals as well as countries is moulded by distant, or covert, events.”

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014 shortlist included authors from Australia (Michelle de Kretser); Argentina (Andrés Neuman); France (Marie NDiaye); Ireland (Donal Ryan); Malaysia (Tan Twan Eng); The Netherlands (Gerbrand Bakker); Northern Ireland (David Park); Norway (Karl Ove Knausgaard); and the USA (Patrick Flanery).

Three Irish novels are among 152 titles that were nominated by libraries worldwide for the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.

The Irish titles are:

  • The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, nominated by Cork City Libraries and by Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland;
  • The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín, nominated by Bibliothèque Municipale de Mulhouse, France and by Winnipeg Public Library, Canada
  • The Light of Amsterdam by David Park (Northern Irish), nominated by Tampere City Library, Finland.

For a full listing of the longlisted titles please visit the official website

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