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Colum McCann wins IMPAC award

16th June 2011

Irish author Colum McCann has won the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the most lucrative literary honour in the world in terms of prize money.

McCann was chosen from a shortlist of ten international authors to win the EUR 100,000 (GBP 88,000) award with his seventh novel, Let the Great World Spin.

He becomes only the second Irish author to scoop the prize, after Colm Toibin's 2006 win with The Master, and the honour follows up his victory at the 2009 National Book Awards with the same novel.

The award is voted for by 166 libraries worldwide and is open to works by authors of any nationality, with the only requirement being the titles are written in, or translated into, English.

Judges described the book, which follows the life of an Irish monk living in the Bronx district of New York, as a 'genuinely 21st-century novel'.

'Its beguiling nature leaves the reader with as much uncertainty as we feel throughout our lives, but therein lies the power of fiction and of this book in particular,' the panel commented.

McCann follows in the footsteps of Gerbrand Bakker, who won the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for The Twin.

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