Friday, June 15, 2007

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated by Anne Born (Harvill Secker/Vintage) has won the 12th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2007.

The prize money of 100,000 Euros will be divided between author and translator (Petterson receiving 75,000 and Born 25,000). The other authors on this year’s shortlist included Julian Barnes, Salman Rushdie, JM Coetzee, Peter Hobbs, Jonathan Safran Foer, Sebastian Barry, and Cormac McCarthy. The 8 shortlisted titles were selected from a longlist of 138, nominated by 169 libraries from 49 countries and from 129 cities; 28 titles were in translation, covering 15 non-English languages.

The following rather lengthy press release from IMPAC has more details regarding today’s announcement:


Winner of the Norwegian Critics Award
Winner of the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award (Norway)
Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (UK)

‘Lyrical, deceptively clever...the way the story folds together like the petals of a rose is one of the novel's pleasurable intelligent journey from boyhood into manhood’
Daily Telegraph, UK

‘Petterson catches so effectively the thing that haunts all of us, the knowledge of how fragile life is...He captures the essence of a man's existence with a clean-lined freshness that hits you like a burst of winter air – surprising and breathtaking... the narrative is beautifully balanced... Petterson writes with robust unpretentiousness. His story gathers pace like growing up, and stimulates heart and mind like a brisk country walk’.
Daily Express, UK

‘Limpid impressive novel of rare and exemplary moral courage… a true gem, compact yet radiant’
Independent on Sunday, UK

‘a minor masterpiece of death and delusion’
The Guardian, UK

‘A luminous story...a genuine work of art...wonderfully resonant and rhythmic translation…a novel of consistent beauty, subtlety and wisdom, but one that creeps up on the reader and gets unforgettably under your skin rather than announcing its virtues and its visions with a loud fanfare. A lyrical coming-of-age tale…widens and deepens into a dramatic meditation on the end of childhood, the choice of a destiny, the gains and losses of age, and the burdens of freedom. Translated with unfailing grace and flair by Anne Born, Out Stealing Horses will stay with you like a friend, a guide and a witness.’
The Independent, UK

‘Deeply atmospheric...concise beauty of his prose movingly captures the Norwegian landscape and rural way of life...This stunning novel will tell you more about the Norwegian countryside and psyche than the most enthusiastically well-informed guide book'
Sunday Telegraph, UK

‘Remarkable...The genius of this beautiful, candid work lies in its tone of gentle reflection...A very special miracle of a book.’
The Irish Times

‘Per Petterson’s novel Out Stealing Horses is a novel which implants itself in the soul, as darkly entrancing as the Norwegian forest in which it is set – a boy on the cusp of adulthood, a transformative summer of tragedy, the air and light of Norway captured in clean, spare prose’ Sunday Herald, Scotland

‘a sustained and penetrating novel which catches the reader particularly through its intense prose.’ Dagbladet, Norway

‘Petterson writes so perfectly that one can see the landscape, feel the wind, smell the soil and he does it so undemonstratively that one feels one has a place in the story… This is the mundane transformed into something magical … like Dickens, Petterson paints people and milieux so accurately and in such detail that a great deal of the time one feels like reading selected paragraphs out loud…a rare book, a book one looks forward to coming home to.’
Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark

‘The intimate sensation of life…sticks in one’s heart…[one] can feel it throughout the book as if one were reading a Hemingway…There is a colossal peace to the narration.’
Politiken, Denmark

‘Per Petterson is master of the fragmented, backward glances of memory. He if anyone can coax forth the blue tones of melancholia and nuance them, tones one hardly knew existed. This is superb’ Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

‘Petterson writes beautiful prose which clusters around sensual depictions of nature and animals, the harsh and hazardous adventures by the river. And not least the dramas of the war … His juicy rendering of a masculine world consisting of hay-making, lumberjacking and chain saw massacres on a blown-down birch is terrific.’
Aftonbladet, Sweden

‘Beautiful about male drudgery in pre-modern Scandinavia. Like a Norwegian cowboy movie’
Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

‘Petterson is an author in full control of his tools, both in the description of the animated and sensual landscape which serves as the stage for this human comedy, and in his description of the overwhelming feelings his characters experience.’
Pages des Librairies, France

‘an amazing novel about the various phases of life, about the moments that change you forever’
Lire, France

‘Petterson manages to reach the tragic just through simple, beautiful sentences that reflect the gloomy surface of the main character’s spiritual life. They are like little, cautious stabs of pain.’
Le Nouvel Observateur, France

‘by virtue of his peaceful, powerful and utterly unstrained prose, one feels that Per Petterson has imbued life with new balance’
Die Zeit, Germany

‘The broad expanse of nature, its brutality, beauty and ambivalence have been described by Petterson in rhythmic, breathing, partly plaintive and almost painfully concrete prose.’
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

‘The novel not only deals with the great existential questions about love and betrayal, truth and death, it also radiates a fascinating poetry about creation and perishability…. a lyrical tribute to the Nordic nature’
Neue Züricher Zeitung, Switzerland

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was the initiative of Gay Mitchell, then Lord Mayor of Dublin and Dr. James B Irwin, Chairman of IMPAC in 1992.

The Award is a partnership between IMPAC and Dublin City Council. The first Award was presented in 1996 to Australian author David Malouf for Remembering Babylon. The Lord Mayor of Dublin today continues to act as its patron.

Presented annually, with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature, the award is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified time period as outlined in the rules and conditions for the year.

Since its inception, IMPAC has worked with Dublin City Council to develop the award which has become one of the most prestigious in the world.

IMPAC (Improved Management Productivity and Control) is an international company with its headquarters based in Florida, USA. Founded in 1954 and headed up since 1972 by Dr. James B Irwin, Snr, IMPAC is a global leader in the productivity enhancement field, working on projects for major corporations and institutions in 65 countries around the world. IMPAC’s Dublin offices were established in 1988 with the development of its European regional training centre.

Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council is the municipal authority providing local government services for Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. First established in the year 1192, Dublin City Council provides a range of diverse services such as libraries, arts, planning, housing and fire services for the citizens of Dublin - to the highest international standards. Dublin City Public Libraries co-ordinates and steers the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award administrative processes involving more than 150 libraries worldwide.

For further information please contact
IMPAC Dublin Award Co-ordinator: Yvonne Conaty ++353 1 6752460
Email Yvonne Conaty:
IMPAC Dublin Award Press Office: Mary Murphy ++353 872336415
IMPAC Dublin Award Libraries Office: Cathy McKenna ++353 1 6744802
USA Press Office: Andy Thibault: ++ 1 860 5678492


“In the brief period since 1996 the IMPAC (Dublin) Award has achieved an unassailable reputation among the world's great literary prizes, for the quality of its judges, its shortlist, its winners. As the first of those winners I am happy to find myself, after ten years, in such shining company.”
David Malouf – winner 1996

“Literature is a worldwide endeavour that has little to do with national boundaries. The Dublin IMPAC has been pre-eminent in recognising this. Little by little the importance of this award is coming to be understood by writers, readers, publishers, critics and booksellers because no other prize, with the exception of the Nobel, draws on such a range of work. In another ten years IMPAC will be as closely watched as the Pulitzer or the Booker or the Goncourt - perhaps more so.”
Andrew Miller – winner 1999

“At a time when artistic timidity so often reaps the biggest rewards, both commercially and critically, there is something immensely heartening about the IMPAC (Dublin) Award. It's wonderful that the world's richest prize for a single work of fiction should be judged solely on the criterion of literary merit – eschewing the political considerations which sometimes predominate in more highly-publicised book awards.”
Nicola Barker – winner 2000

“The IMPAC Dublin Award was a tremendous ‘gift’ to me in more ways than one. Its financial largesse and the attendant publicity literally changed my life. It was wonderful to have my work recognized by a jury of international peers and, subsequently, to have it read by so many new and appreciative readers. It is a splendid award.”
Alistair MacLeod – winner 2001

“It was a great honor to receive the IMPAC Dublin Prize and a great joy to go to Dublin to get it.”
Orhan Pamuk – winner 2003

“la particularité de ce prix est qu'il est unique ; son mode de sélection et d'attribution est très judicieux et juste. L'écrivain qui remporte l'Impac est doublement heureux ; il est distingué et surtout il est reconnu de manière internationale et objective. Ce prix est vraiment exceptionnel. Non seulement il m'a honoré mais aussi il m'a apporté une belle confiance en mon travail.”
Tahar Ben Jelloun Lauréat 2004

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