Colm Toibin wins IMPAC literary prize for novel "The Master"

Toibin, whose novel explored the tortured soul of the 19th century American novelist Henry James, received the US$125,000 prize and a Waterford crystal trophy. He became the first Irish winner of the 11-year-old prize, which seeks to honor the most impressive work of fiction published in the English language in the previous year.

A four-judge panel from Britain, Canada, Ireland and Italy selected "The Master" from a field of 132 novels that had been nominated by 180 libraries in 43 countries, the AP reports.

Toibin, 50, a former journalist and magazine editor, has written four other novels: "The South," "The Heather Blazing," "The Story of the Night" and "The Blackwater Lightship." He has been shortlisted twice for Britain's Booker Prize: in 2001 for "The Blackwater Lightship" and in 2004 for "The Master."

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