Great news: Roland Merullo's Breakfast with Buddha has put him among the nominees for the 2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, announced on Nov 10 by Eibhlin Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin. With its 100,000 euro prize, it's "the world's most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English and is a Dublin City Council initiative, in partnership with IMPAC." (IMPAC, an international productivity implementation firm sponsors a number of literary awards - go, IMPAC!):
Also on the list are Doris Lessing for The Cleft; Junot Diaz for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; and Mario Vargars Llosa for The Bad Girl.
The 156 authors hail from 41 countries. The books span 18 languages, 29 of which are translated from languages such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Slovenian and Hebrew. 19 of them are first novels. "These are books that might not otherwise come to the attention of Irish readers”, says Deirdre Ellis-King, Dublin City Librarian. “The spread of languages and the number of books in translation continues to grow”.
It's lovely to learn that nominations come from "157 libraries in 117 cities," in Roland's case, one situated in South Carolina. What an honor! And what a book. It's wonderful. And extremely funny. And deep. Roland-ish. Great gift, by the way. I couldn't resist snipping the portion of the nominee list where Roland's name appears along with these great literary lights: