Prizes

2007 National Book Award Finalists Announced

By posted at 11:22 am on October 10, 2007 1

This year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. In the fiction category, the big name is Denis Johnson, who immediately becomes the presumptive favorite for his novel Tree of Smoke. Joshua Ferris, meanwhile, makes a splash with his debut effort Then We Came to the End. And in the nonfiction category, let’s not ignore “The Hitch.” Not making the cut are notable novelists like Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Jane Smiley, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Don Delillo, Junot Diaz, and Richard Russo. Here’s a list of the finalists in all four categories with bonus links and excerpts where available:

Fiction:

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Nonfiction:

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Poetry:

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Young People’s Literature:

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One Response to “2007 National Book Award Finalists Announced”

  1. mike
    at 6:35 am on October 17, 2007

    Ralph Ellison's father died when he was three. Seven paragraphs from the end of the excerpt the biographer writes:

    Ironically, the son probably wouldn’t have become famous if his father had lived. Protected, perhaps even cosseted, by his father’s love, he would probably have escaped the wounds of poverty, loneliness, and despair that came howling in the wake of Lewis’s death.

    Poverty, loneliness, despair, and being raised fatherless doesn't lead to "fame" and I don't see any "irony" in that. Also, it's a very sentimental view that "art" is born out of the absence of paternal love.

    This biographer tries very hard to potray Ralph Ellison as ungrateful, even to the point of describing his father's death as a "sacrifice" to his son's "fame." All because Ralph Ellison stepped out of line with the radicals of the 1960s.

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