Post Number: 57
|Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 10:40 pm: |
This is "off topic," but all the best to Edwidge Danticat who's been nominated for The Dew Breaker. The minute I finished it I said that if there's any fairness in the world, this one should receive an award nomination. Of course, you know what happened after PBS ring analyst Stanley Crouch punched the wrong guy. Rick Moody, who Dale Peck called "the worst writer of his generation," was the man in charge of the National Book Award for fiction and decided to shortlist five novels by white women who live in New York. Anyway, Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle has been nominated for nonfiction so if it wins it'll be the first double winner since The Known World. But you know from last year that when it comes to books, ol' Mr. Linworth is gonna reward something which deliberately distorts history, that is, unless the Iowa-New Yorker Literary Crime Family beats him to it.
Yesterday the NY Times reported that John Sutherland, chairman of the Booker Awards, "tendered his resignation on Friday after suggesting that his fellow judges were unlikely to take the time to read all 130 books in contention and that they are 'light on minorities.'" I think what Mr. Sutherland meant to say was that minorities are "under-represented," but apparently English is not his first language.
"Blood Done Sign My Name" (I forget the author, has anyone heard of it) is also nominated in the nonfiction category. A book I've been hearing a lot about, although it wasn't nominated, is "Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War" by Penny M. von Eschen. In 1956 around the time of the Montgomery bus boycott, the State Department hit upon the genius idea of sending mostly black, some white, jazz musicians around the world to advertise the rosy state of US race relations, but I guess they didn't play it the way it was written! Just ordered it as a matter of fact.
In the biography/autobiography category the one I like is "Will in the World" by Stephen Greenblatt. Just finished it yesterday. It's a really interesting biography of Shakespeare, but since not a whole lot is known about Shakespeare, it's speculative and has caused some controversy. It's always a drag when that happens!
Article about the National Book Critics Circle Awards: