October 9, 2008

France’s Le Clezio Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature 0


After all the talk that America is a literary backwater, it’s not terribly surprising that the Nobel Prize went to an international writer. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio is not a very well known name. In fact, he only has a few of books translated into English that are in print. Wandering Star “tells two discrete […]

October 1, 2008

Ask a Book Question: The 66th in a Series (A Little NBA Speculation) 8


Chall writes in with this question: Any National Book Award predictions? Awards season is upon us. The Booker shortlist is out, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced in the next week or so, and the National Book Award finalists will be named on October 15th. Chall’s question gives us an […]

September 23, 2008

2008′s Literary Geniuses 0


Somehow I didn’t get a MacArthur “Genius” Grant this year, but a pair of literary geniuses did (the full list of Geniuses). The MacArthur grant awards $500,000, “no strings attached” to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” This year’s literary geniuses are: […]

July 29, 2008

A Booker’s Dozen: The 2008 Booker Longlist 1


So long as the Booker Prize keeps longlisting 13 titles, I’m going to keep making that joke. The Booker season is underway with the unveiling of 2008′s longlist. As is often the case, it is a mix of exciting new names, relative unknowns and old standbys. In the later category is Salman Rushdie who, as […]

July 17, 2008

The Best of the Best of the Best 0


In what seems peripherally related to our recent exercise in award aggregation, The Prizewinners, the Booker Prize recently announced their Best of the Booker, a prize to commeorate the 40th anniversary of the Prize and also to name the “best overall novel to have won the prize.” It went, somewhat predictably, to Salman Rushdie for […]

June 16, 2008

Hage Wins the IMPAC 0


This year’s IMPAC shortlist was quite eclectic, as we noted when it was released. One side effect of this is that the 2008 IMPAC won’t have an impact on the “Prizewinners” tally that we keep. The upshot, of course, is that the IMPAC shed its spotlight on some less well-known names, including this year’s winner: […]

May 13, 2008

The Prizewinners: International Edition 3


Max’s recent post cataloging 13 years of Anglo-American “Prizewinners” got me wondering… what were the most decorated books in foreign-language fiction during the same period? And how many of them are currently available in English? I assumed that, in an Internet age, this information would be easy to come by in consolidated form; as it […]

May 12, 2008

Belgian Novelist Paul Verhaeghen wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 0


Paul Verhaeghen‘s monumentally proportioned second novel, Omega Minor, caught my eye when it appeared in bookstores earlier this year. Given the preponderance of 650-pagers on my spring reading list, I made a note to myself to pick it up in 2009. But the news that Verhaeghen, a Flemish cognitive pyschologist, has won the 2008 Independent […]

April 23, 2008

The Prizewinners Revisited 4


A while back, I put together a post called “The Prizewinners,” which asked what books had been decreed by the major book awards to be the “best” books over that period. These awards are arbitrary but just as a certain number of batting titles and MVPs might qualify a baseball player for consideration by the […]

April 7, 2008

2008′s Pulitzer Winners 1


The Tournament of Books is a wacky enterprise, but for the second year in a row, it has predicted the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Last year it was Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this year it’s Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Here are this year’s Pulitzer winners and finalists […]