Let the Carping Begin

Immediately after the National Book Award finalists were announced, the Twitter World was abuzz that Jonathan Franzen was snubbed by the National Book Awards (some think that’s not a bad thing), which also happens to the the title of  AP’s story (Jonathan Franzen SNUBBED By the National Book Award Committee).

Also on Twitter, St. John’s Knits announces they are partnering with the Daily Beast for National Book Awards After Party (St. John’s Knits is a sponsor of the Daily Beast‘s book coverage, which is the reason a beautifully clad model incongruously pops up in some of their stories). What a concept; could a Vanity Fair NBA party be next?

The NYT “Arts Beat” blog points out that 13 of the 20 finalists are women; the largest group ever.

I am happy to see Lionel Shriver’s So Much for That on the list. Most of the reviewers mischaracterized it as a novel about the cost of health care, but it deals with much deeper issues; deciding to ignore the advice of so-called authorities to follow your own instincts.

Two of the five fiction titles are from small independent presses. They have been below the radar to date and are therefore not owned widely in libraries.

Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (McPherson); Kirkus, “Exceptional writing and idiosyncratic characters make this an engaging read”

Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (Coffee House Press); received a starred review from Booklist

Winners will be announced on Nov. 17.

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