Juan Gabriel Vásquez’ third novel The Sound of Things Falling has earned the €100,000 Impac Dublin Award. The story, which details how the Colombian drug trade impacted the lives of his literary cast of citizens, beat out a longlist of 152 titles and shortlist of 10. Listees are nominated by libraries around the world.
Judge Maya Jaggi said the Impac Award jury, which included authors Tash Aw, Catherine Dunne, Giles Foden, Maciej Świerkocki, and herself, chose to laurel the book for its portrayal of a “world of precarious flight and desperate, last-ditch ambition, in which everything is falling; nothing is secure. Airliners drop out of the sky, marriages crash and burn, daredevil pilots make lethal miscalculations, and family men make flawed choices. Almost anything can be corrupted by the glittering promise of unimaginable wealth – and fate or fluke is the name we give to events beyond our control that lay waste to our soaring dreams.”
Among the world’s richest literary prizes given to a single novel published in English, Vásquez accepted €75,000 while his translator Anne McLean earned €25,000.