Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Other NBA

For those of you that missed it (either in person or via the #nba10 Twitter hashtag), the 61st annual National Book Awards were presented last night in New York City. While yours truly was neither a winner (they have yet to institute a blogging category) nor an in-person attendee, I had fun following via the Interwebz and am pleased to announce this year's winners:

Lifetime achievement award: Tom Wolfe (whose speech apparently went on forever).

Young people's literature: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (NOTE: while her writing may be superb, her website is an example of what yours should not look like). (Other finalists: Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker; Laura McNeal, Dark Water; Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown; Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer.)

Poetry: Lighthead by Terrance Hayes. (Other finalists: Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City; James Richardson, By the Numbers; C.D. Wright, One with Others; Monica Youn, Ignatz.)

Nonfiction: Just Kids, Patti Smith. (Other finalists: Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea; John W. Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq; Justin Spring, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward; Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War.)

Fiction: Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon. (Other finalists: Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America; Nicole Krauss, Great House; Lionel Shriver, So Much for That; Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel.)

Suffice it to say, I have four more books to add to the "to-read" pile, including the new Hayes (of whom I'm a big fan, & was rooting for to win—not that I didn't/don't love the other finalists). If anyone's interested, my picks were: Terrance Hayes (poetry), Barbara Demick (nonfiction), and Nicole Krauss (fiction). (I don't read enough children's literature/YA to have an informed opinion.) Congrats to all, however, winners and finalists alike!

What about you, meine Autoren? What do you think of the finalists/winners and their books?


  1. (NOTE: while her writing may be superb, her website is an example of what yours should not look like).

    What are you talking about? Geocities 4 LIFE!

  2. I was rooting for Paolo, but that was probably unfair of me since I haven't read Mockingbird.

  3. Tom Wolfe spoke for too long? Noooo way!

  4. You should definitely, definitely read One Crazy Summer. I also enjoyed the diverse cast in Ship Breaker.

  5. Word. Who let Erskine hire her grandpa to webdesign? Friends don't let friends use ONLY html and css. so sad so sad.

  6. I have to say, the design of Kathryn Erskine's site may be a bit old-fashioned, but it does include: (1) contact information; (2) up-to-date event info; (3) info on her books and links to buy them; (4) info for teachers looking to book school visits. And all this info is easily located on the site. This is more than a LOT of author sites have, even super-designed fancy ones with lots of web 2.0 bells and whistles.

    So, I think that was an unfair dig. Congrats to Ms. Erskine on her win!