Post Number: 367
|Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 01:23 am: |
I guess I need to get my reading on. I haven't read a single title on these lists. At least I'm writing.
So instead of nominating a biography like "Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching" by Paula J. Giddings, the folks at this award have shortlisted C. Vivian Stringer. Cynique and Emanuel, Is there any particular reason that you both have apparently abandoned your usually accute critical faculties?
And what about this?:
Publishing House of the Year
Simon & Schuster
It's either a blatant set-up or an example of shameless sycophancy. Random House! (*rolling eyes*)
Tony Dungy - Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life )
If we have to hear about this ghosted sports bio being nominated for yet another award, can we at least learn who the author is?
This is interesting:
she saw there was a clear need to bring recognition to African American authors throughout the country.
Yes, especially now that the Hurston-Wright Legacy is not only not an African American award (because it's clearly an advantage to be born elsewhere) but apparently not a black award either, if Junot Diaz can make the shortlist. Here I'm going by City College of New York demographic categories in which "Hispanics," of which Dominicans comprise the numerical majority, constitute the largest ethnic group, followed by Blacks, Asians, and whites.
Finalist for this year's award:
Jan Carew -- Guyana
Maryse Conde -- Guadaloupe
Junot Diaz -- Dominican Republic
Helon Habila -- Nigeria
Lawrence Hill -- Canada
Helen Oyeyemi -- Nigeria
Kwame Dawes -- Ghana
Ravi Howard -- African American
Nathan McCall -- AA
Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- Somalia
Jabari Asim -- AA
Edwidge Danticat -- Haiti
Sylvianne Diouf -- France
Gerald Horne -- AA
Sherrilyn Ifil -- AA
In my opinion, African Americans and book awards have been and continue to be the subject of so much politicizing it's discouraging. What exactly is the idea behind the AA Literary Awards? Is it good works, as in the fight against illiteracy, or is it something more ideological, for instance, the idea that "art" has to be understandable to the lumpen? Or are there some surreptitious entrepreneurial undertones here?
The following is from the review posted on this forum of Stephen L. Carter's latest thriller, about the main character Eddie Wesley:
Eddie is a successful novelist (two National Book Awards before he’s 40), an ambitious and cocksure “doubter of conventions and rules, except in literature, where he accepted them entirely.”
The stereotoype that I think Carter is trying to perpetuate is that in order to win the National Book Award, one has to "accept the rules and conventions," and we know exactly what that implies.
The same stereotype is reinforced in the recent biography by "Arnold," the hip myth that Carter is drawing on:
Like Ralph, Brooks had schooled herself as a modernist, one bent on fusing the ideas and aesthetic practices of white writers such as Eliot and Pound with the colorful reality of black America. White America had responded by awarding her its finest literary honor.
As a result, when Edward P. Jones won the Pulitzer Prize, it was just a short leap on this very forum toward accusing him of complicity.
This was the year of "Caribbean-born authors" nominated for or winning major book awards: Diaz, Danticat, and Arnold. Harriet Washington was the only African American winner that I know of. Is there anyone here who hasn't pondered the reason why?