Co Down author nominated for top award

Published Wednesday, 09 April 2014
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A novel penned by a Co Down author, which begins at the funeral of footballing legend George Best, has been shortlisted for the world's most lucrative literary prize worth €100k.

Co Down author nominated for top award
Legendary Manchester United footballer George Best in 1970s. (© Getty)

Former Belfast school teacher David Park has been named on the Impac Dublin Literary Award list for his novel The Light of Amsterdam.

The book may open at a funeral, but it develops into a biblical story of cheating before wrapping up at a disappointing Bob Dylan concert in Amsterdam.

Also nominated is Limerick's Donal Ryan for The Spinning Heart, which he wrote in his spare time while in a government job.

The Spinning Heart tells the story of 21 victims of the property crash and has won widespread praise, winning the Irish Book of the Year Award before being long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and topping bestseller lists.

Another five novels included on the award's shortlist, managed by Dublin City Libraries, have been translated into English from works by authors in Argentina, Colombia, France, Norway, and The Netherlands.

The remaining books on the shortlist are by authors from Australia, Malaysia and the USA.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Henry Upton announced the nominees in Dublin on Wednesday.

"This is a list of high quality literature that includes five novels in translation which readers might not otherwise get the opportunity to read," he said.

"And I am delighted to see Donal Ryan and David Park on the list. This is a real tribute from the judges to the quality of contemporary Irish writing."

As well as the two local nominees, the shortlisted books are - The Detour translated from Dutch and by the 2010 winner by Gerbrand Bakker; Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser; Absolution, the first book by US writer Patrick Flanery; A Death in the Family by Norway's Karl Ove Knausgaard; Three Strong Women by France's Marie NDiaye; Traveller of the Century by Andres Neuman from Argentina; The Garden of Evening Mists by Malaysian Tan Twan Eng; and The Sound of Things Falling by Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

The titles on this year's shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Australia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, South Africa and The Netherlands.

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A five-member international judging panel will select the winner, to be announced on 12 June.
© UTV News
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