Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 3, 2009

The IMPAC Longlist 2010

Nice to see so many Aussies in the IMPAC Longlist, just announced. It’s also good to see the inclusion of quite a few from beyond the English speaking world, available through translation.

Those on the list that I’ve read (with links to my reviews) include:

Australian titles

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (alas, I read this in March 08, before I set up this blog.)

The Trout Opera by Matt Condon (I’m barracking for this one because it has been unjustly overlooked.)

Wanting by Richard Flanagan

The Spare Room by Helen Garner

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Breath by Tim Winton

International titles

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Sea of Poppies by Amritav Ghosh

The Believers by Zoe Heller

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Edgar Wroblewski (really??)

Many of the longlisted books have been reviewed at the Complete Review.


  1. I read People of the Book recently, and The Spare Room is on my bedside table waiting to be read.

    Good to know that some of my reading habits are on the right track!


  2. Hi Fiona, thanks for your comment. Yes, I find that these awards help me to be a bit more selective in my reading…there’s so much out there these days and even though there are often lively discussions about awards and the prizewinners, the publicity they get means that the blogosphere gets talking about the book!


  3. I have to agree with your implied take on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It just does not seem up to the same standards as former IMPAC winners (or other contenders on this year’s longlist).

    Otherwise, you have put The Trout Opera back on my radar. I’d forgotten about it. Now, I think I will pick it up. Thank you.


  4. Another Australian title on the list I’d recommend is Arnold Zable’s ‘The Sea of Many Returns’. Are you interested in Peter Carey’s ‘His Illegal Self’ (also on the longlist)?

    From those Australian books you’ve read, I’ve also read:
    ‘The Trout Opera’ – I didn’t feel like it lived up to my expectations. But a good read, nonetheless and like you, was surprised this didn’t make any of the major award shortlists.
    ‘The Slap’ – overrated IMHO, for all the reasons you list! ;-)
    ‘Breath’ – only the 2nd Winton I’ve read (the other was Dirt Music). With ‘Breath’ I finally ‘got’ what everybody like about his writing with the surfing passages. Tho I felt the beginning/end didn’t fit with the middle. So, again, I mostly agree with your review! ;-)


  5. Would Kate Morton’s ‘The Forgotten Garden’ also be an Aussie to add to the list Lisa?


  6. Gosh, I should have noticed these two on the list! I really liked Oscar and Lucinda and Bliss, but lost interest after that. I’ve got Theft and His Illegal Self on the TBR – but have no plans to read them. (I think I bought them because I thought he’d win the Booker again.)
    I wonder if there are other Aussie titles longlisted that I’ve overlooked?


  7. Oops, thanks, Sally, that’s another one I’d missed, and it’s on our ANZLL schedule too!


  8. Yesterday’s Weekly Book Newsletter neatly listed all the Australian books on the IMPAC Longlist, if that helps you work out if you’ve got them in the schedule (I’ve left in the books referred to in the above post/comments)…

    People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks, HarperPerennial);
    The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga, Atlantic);
    His Illegal Self (Peter Carey, Vintage);
    The Rehearsal (Eleanor Catton, A&U);
    God of Speed (Luke Davies, A&U);
    The 10pm Question (Kate de Goldi, A&U);
    Wanting (Richard Flanagan, Vintage);
    The Spare Room (Helen Garner, Text);
    The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton, A&U);
    Sonata for Miriam (Linda Olsson, Penguin);
    Novel About My Wife (Emily Perkins, A&U);
    A Fraction of the Whole (Steve Toltz, Penguin);
    The Slap (Christos Tsiokas, A&U);
    Breath (Tim Winton, Penguin); and
    Sea of Many Returns (Arnold Zable, Text).


  9. Thanks, I’m not familiar with the titles you’ve added…and I confess to not knowing most of the extra authors either. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have time to read them all!
    BTW the search feature on this blog is not fantastic and sometimes doesn’t find every book that’s been reviewed on it. To solve that problem, I’ve st up an index page, and you can also search by title or author using the categories drop-down menu.


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