IMPAC Award Makes Writers Rich and Efficient
So the MOST money you can win from a literary prize is about 100,000 pounds ($165,000 or so), for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, an Irish book prize subsidized by a terrifying company in Florida that specializes in something called "Improved Management Productivity and Control".

Evidently, IMPAC is an American company dedicated to making other companies more efficient, pared down, and streamlined.

They have a corporate college in Florida. Basically, either this company tells you who to fire, or they tell you what distractions to remove from your "work environment" in order to get your employees to put in round and tight eight-hour shifts of PURE WORK, turning your company into a superefficient dyanamo that cooks and sizzles in today's competitive economy.

All the libraries of the world submit novel nominations for this contest, and then a group of conscientious people in Dublin decide who should win the pot of gold (the only prize that pays you more is the Nobel, and that's for a body of work, not a single novel). IMPAC fronts up the money, and their name goes next to your name on a Waterford Crystal statue (subsidized by Waterford).

This year's IMPAC was won by Rawi Hage, a guy who used to live in Beirut but then emigrated to Canada. His novel is called "De Niro's Game," and it is about a contemplative person in Beirut who decides to emigrate to Canada after deciding not to consolidate power as a Beirut crime lord.

IMPAC: "So Mr. Hawe, what we liked about your novel is that it shows a city with problems of an economic and political nature."

HAGE: (bristling, but resigned) "Yes, it is very awful."

IMPAC: "It shows a problem. A problem of efficiency, productivity, and control. A problem of too many workers struggling for too few positions. And then, the character makes a decision not to steal company property but to take off for greener pastures. Of his own volition, mind you. He may not like the way the company is being run, but he understands about downsizing."

HAGE: "Company? We are speaking of my homeland."

IMPAC: "We were wondering. You've got a lot of adjectives in there. Is there any way we can convince you to cut your adjective budget by maybe 30%? I think you'll see big profits in the illiterate sector, and that's a huge market."

HAGE: "Illiterate people do not read."

IMPAC: "Ha! Got me there. Seriously. Lose some adjectives or you're fired."


Posted by miracle on Thu, 12 Jun 2008 11:07:32 -0400 -- permanent link

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