The Master, by Colm Tóibín
(June 15, 2006) – - Yaddo author Colm Tóibín became the first Irish writer to win the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award when it was announced Tuesday that he is the 2006 recipient of the world’s richest prize for a single work of fiction for his novel The Master.
The $126,000 award is a partnership initiative between the Dublin (Ireland) City Council and Improved Management Productivity and Control, an international company with its headquarters in Florida. Nominations for the Dublin Prize are made by libraries worldwide. The Master, Mr. Tóibín’s powerful fictionalized account of the life of writer Henry James, was selected by an international panel of judges which sifted through 132 novels nominated by 180 libraries from 43 countries. Published in 2004, the book also won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger for the best foreign novel published in France.
Commenting on Mr. Toibín’s selection, the judges wrote: “In The Master, Colm Tóibín captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly alive and vibrant in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. The Master is, and will continue to be a work of novelistic art: its preoccupations are truth and the elusiveness of intimacy, and from such preoccupations emerge this patient, beautiful, exposure of loss, and the price of the pursuit of perfection.”
Mr. Toibin was a guest artist at Yaddo in 1999.