British writer Jon McGregor wins $131K Impac Dublin Award
Winnipeg's David Bergen was only Canadian finalist
British writer Jon McGregor won the €100,000 ($131,000 Cdn) 2012 International Impac Dublin Literary Award on Wednesday for his novel Even the Dogs.
He triumphed in a field of 10 shortlisted writers, including Winnipeg's David Bergen, who was nominated for The Matter with Morris.
Nominations for the award, the richest literary award in the world for a single book, came from public libraries around the world and a jury selects the shortlist and winner. McGregor's book was nominated by a public library in Moscow.
Even the Dogs, McGregor's third novel, is described as an experiment that details the lives of a gathering of homeless addicts as they go about their daily forage for shelter, drink or a fix.
It focuses on one alcoholic, who dies between Christmas and New Year's, and the people who knew him.
The jury, which included British novelist Tim Parks and the Trinidadian writer Elizabeth Nunez, called the book "noble in its clear-eyed truth telling."
"With no hectoring or table thumping, the author gets us to stand and listen. When we close the book we marvel that McGregor, in less than 200 pages, has managed to sketch such a complete and complex picture of a world which is so near to hand but so seldom lingered over," the jury said in its citation.
McGregor, who was born in Bermuda and raised in Britain, was on the long list for the Man Booker Prize in 2002 for his debut novel If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things.
He said winning the Impac Dublin Award was "a real honour to have been selected from such a huge list of fantastic works from around the world."
Bergen's The Matter with Morris earned him a Giller Prize nomination in 2010. He was the only Canadian nominee.
Other finalists including Pulitzer Prize winner A Visit from the Goon Squad by American Jennifer Egan and Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes.