Who to root for? Minnesota writer Arthur Phillips? Minneapolis's Graywolf Press? The beautiful "Buddha in the Attic"? The zany Pulitzer finalist "Swamplandia!"?
The shortlist for the International IMPAC/Dublin Literary Award has been announced, and the ten titles represent a truly international range--five in translation, three by Americans, one Irish and one British.
Phillips' novel, "The Tragedy of Arthur," is "a circus of a novel," said the Star Tribune in its review (by critic Mark Athitakis). It's the story of a man (named Arthur Phillips) who discovers a long-lost Shakespearean play in his father's attic.
Graywolf Press is in the running, too, with Irish author Kevin Barry's "City of Bohane."
The IMPAC/Dublin Award carries a prize of more than $150,000.
Here's the full list:
"City of Bohane," by Kevin Barry
"The Map and the Territory," by Michel Houellebecq, translated from French.
"Pure," by Andrew Miller.
"1Q84," by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese.
"The Buddha in the Attic," by Julie Otsuka.
"The Tragedy of Arthur," by Arthur Phillips.
"Swamplandia!," by Karen Russell
"From the Mouth of the Whale," by Sjon, translated from Icelandic.
"The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am," by Kjersti Skomsvold, translated from Norwegian.
"Caesarian," by Tommy Wieringa, translated from Dutch.
The winner will be announced by the Lord Mayor of Dublin on June 6.
Events: Arthur Phillips will be at the Stillwater Public Library at 7 p.m. on April 18 for Club Book. The next evening, he'll be in St. Croix Falls, Wis., at 7:30 p.m. when the St. Croix Falls Theater performs a scene from the play embedded within his book.