The 2011 Man Booker International Prize. Judge for Yourself!

The Man Booker International Prize 2011 finalists were announced yesterday. It’s more of  a “lifetime” achievement award, so no real dark horses to send us all scurrying to Wikipedia for bios and bibliographies.  The general consensus is that it’s a good list, – one likely to give the three judges some sleepless nights between now and May 18th.

  • Wang Anvi (China)
  • Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
  • James Kelman (Scotland)
  • John le Carré (Great Britain)
  • Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
  • David Malouf (Australia)
  • Dacia Maraini (Italy)
  • Rohinton Mistry (India/currently living in Canada)
  • Philip Pullman (Great Britain)
  • Marilynne Summers Robinson (U.S.A.)
  • Philip Roth (U.S.A.)
  • Su Tong (China)
  • Anne Tyler (U.S.A.)

It looks a bit like the World Cup, except that the U.S. might actually have a shot this year of taking it home.  Especially since John le Carré has informed the judges that he doesn’t “compete”. It didn’t do him much good, the powers that be refused to accept his non-acceptance.  Still, it’s made his name the most buzz-worthy on the list for now.

But it’s still anybody’s game, folks.  At the time I am typing up this post, William Morris (that noble British institution) has yet to post the odds.  So…quickly… who would you be willing to put money on?  I’ll even allow for write-ins.

 

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National Book Award Blog Bounce

In case anyone was wondering, I’m getting caught up on my reading.   In the meantime, the list of National Book Award Finalists came out last week.  I haven’t read any of the Fiction Finalists, so I’m providing links to those who have.

I couldn’t find a blog review for Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule (due in stores on November 14th).  If you know of one, please post it in the comments below.  Ironic, though, since it is that book and I, Hotel which  I’d most like to read.

And for fun, here’s the Non-fiction list:

  • Barbara Demick  Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group)
  • John W. Dower  Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq (W.W. Norton & Co/The New Press )
  • Patti Smith  Just Kids (Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)
  • Justin Spring  Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Megan K. Stack  Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War (Doubleday)

Winners are scheduled to be announce Wednesday, November 17th.  And I should have a new review up over the weekend.

The National Book Award… honest, we have a National book award… they have a website…

It happened again. The National Book Award released a list of finalists and I completely missed it. Fortunately, The Huffington Post was on the ball, so check out the link at the end of this post.

I really wish this prize was better marketed. They even tried to jazz it up this year for the 60th Anniversary by allowing readers to vote for the best of the best. But where are the cardboard media stands in stores displaying the choices and encouraging you to “Vote for the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction!”? Or the feature tables – don’t those big box bookstores live for feature tables? At the very least someone should have picked up the phone and called Oprah!

Here are the Fiction Nominees:

  • Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
  • Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
  • Marcel Theroux, Far North

And Non-Fiction:

  • David M. Carroll, Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook
  • Sean B. Carroll, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species
  • Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City
  • Adrienne Mayor, The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy
  • T. J. Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

Sadly, the only one of the current nominees I’ve read is Sean B. Carroll’s Remarkable Creatures which I reviewed back in July.  Good book, but award-winning?  I’m not sure.

There are also categories for Poetry and Young Adult.

And here’s a link, as promised, to the poll being run by the Huffington Post.