My Name Is Red

Orhan Pamuk.

By Irish America Staff
August / September 2003

Turkish Writer Orhan Pamuk wins IMPAC Award.


Dublin: The IMPAC Literary Award was presented on June 14 to Orhan Pamuk for his book My Name Is Red.

Worth 100,000 euros, the IMPAC award is considered the most generous literary prize in the world.

The winning book, by the Turkish writer and author of six novels which have been translated into more than 20 languages, is described as “a thickly-plotted murder mystery and love story set in 16th century Istanbul and concerned with the fate of Islamic artists.” Pamuk beat out weighty competition from John McGahern’s That They May Face This Rising Sun, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, and Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, to win the award.

The IMPAC award was founded by Irish American James Irwin who is the chairman of IMPAC, a worldwide productivity firm, and chairman of IMPAC University, a state-licensed-degree-granting university in Florida.

Jim Irwin grew up in the Bronx, New York. His mother’s family, the McCooks and O’Rourkes, arrived in the United States in the mid 19th century from County Clare. Irwin’s father, also of Irish descent, was a battalion chief in the New York City Fire Department and headed The New York City Fire College.

Irwin credits his parents’ love of books as a key element to his success: “My parents were definitely not wealthy,’ says Irwin, “but both were avid readers, although my father tended to read technical books while my mother was a fan of fiction and politics. This certainly created a rich environment with very few limitations on ambition and opportunity. The sky was my limit, if there was such a thing as a limit, and books were the friendly doorways to the sky”. ♦

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