The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was first made in 1996. 'The nomination process for the Award is unique as nominations are made by libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world. Participating libraries can nominate up to three novels each year for the Award.' The Award is open to books written in any language and is awarded annually.
(IMPAC is an international productivity-improvement company. 'IMPAC' is not a corporation, but a registered trademark.)
(Source: IMPAC website, http://www.impacdublinaward.ie/)
'In the mid-1840s, a thirteen-year-old boy, Gemmy Fairley, is cast ashore in the far north of Australia and taken in by Aborigines. Sixteen years later, when settlers reach the area, he moves back into the world of Europeans, men and women who are staking out their small patch of home in an alien place, hopeful and yet terrified of what it might do to them.
Given shelter by the McIvors, the family of the children who originally made contact with him, Gemmy seems at first to be guaranteed a secure role in the settlement, but there are currents of fear and mistrust in the air. To everyone he meets - from George Abbot, the romantically aspiring young teacher, to Mr Frazer, the minister, whose days are spent with Gemmy recording the local flora; from Janet McIvor, just coming to adulthood and discovering new versions of the world, to the eccentric Governor of Queensland himself - Gemmy stands as a different kind of challenge, as a force which both fascinates and repels. And Gemmy himself finds his own whiteness as unsettling in this new world as the knowledge he brings with him of the savage, the Aboriginal.' - Publisher's blurb (Chatto & Windus, 1993).