Must be quite a sentence! A novel consisting of one sentence has won the €100,000 ($118,000) International Dublin Literary Award. Irish novelist Mike McCormack is the lucky author.
Mike McCormack's one sentence novel Solar Bones has been announced as the winner of the International Dublin Literary Award. The prize, formerly known as the IMPAC award, is the world's largest prize for a single novel published in English. Eash year it goes to a novel selected from a longlist nominated from librarians around the world.
Solar Bones is the fifth novel for McCormack, originally from County Mayo, but his first one-sentence novel. To be fair, that one sentence spans over 270 pages. It's narrated from the perspective of the ghost of a man named Miles Conway, who has returned for All Souls Day, the one day a year when the dead may return to the land of the living.
This is not the first major accolade for McCormack's one sentence wonder. It was long-listed for the prestigious Man Booker prize and won the Goldsmiths prize. According to The Guardian, McCormack is all the more floored by its success given the difficulty he had in finding a publisher who would take a risk on such an unconventional work of fiction. It was published by the small but mighty independent Irish imprint Tramp Press.
Mighty pleased that I had the foresight to nab a signed copy of Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones in February pic.twitter.com/deywsuC7KD— Edmund Heaphy (@edmundheaphy) June 13, 2018
McCormack is the fourth Irish author to win the award in its 23-year history. Per the synopsis from the award committee:
Once a year, on All Souls’ Day, it is said in Ireland that the dead may return. Solar Bones is the story of one such visit. Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took him away and then brought him home again. Funny and strange, McCormack’s ambitious and other-worldly novel plays with form and defies convention. This profound new work is by one of Ireland’s most important contemporary novelists. A beautiful and haunting elegy, this story of order and chaos, love and loss captures how minor decisions ripple into waves and test our integrity every day.
Asked what he would do with the prize money, McCormack told The Guardian that his work chair had broken just the night before, so he would now look into purchasing a slightly more expensive one.