Edward P. Jones continues to receive accolades for his National Book Critics Circle Award. This AP article gives some more insight on Jones and his book, The Known World. Could a Pulitzer be around the corner? In the San Francisco Chronicle, a considerable profile of T. C. Boyle. It looks like Boyle’s next book will be called The Inner Circle. This one will be about Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a real life sex researcher from the 1940s and 50s. And the New York Times Book Review finally finished reading William Vollmann’s massive treatise on violence, Rising Up and Rising Down, (weighing in at 3,299 pages) and makes the review its cover story. They appreciate the expanse of the work, but not so much the content.
The IMPAC Award shortlist was announced today. The IMPAC sets itself apart with its unique approach. Its massive longlist is compiled by libraries all over the world before being whittled down by judges. This makes for a more egalitarian selection. It’s also got a long lead time. Several books up for the current prize (to be named in June) were initially published as far back as 2013, putting the IMPAC more than a year behind other big literary awards. There’s a distinct upside in this. By now, nearly all the shortlisted books are available in paperback in the U.S.
The IMPAC also tends to be interesting for the breadth of books it considers, and the 2015 shortlist is no exception, with seven countries represented, though only three of the books are translated works. Four of the ten shortlisters are by women.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Year in Reading)
Horses of God by Mahi Binebine
Harvest by Jim Crace (at The Millions)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Art After Tragedy: The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
K by Bernardo Kucinski
Brief Loves that Live Forever by Andreï Makine
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (The Real and the Imagined: On Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic, Colum McCann’s Year in Reading)
Someone by Alice McDermott (Alice McDermott’s Year in Reading)
Sparta by Roxana Robinson (Roxana Robinson on Edith Wharton)
As others have mentioned, the winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced last night. Here they are with some links to excerpts and/or reviews if you want to know more about the books:Fiction: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – excerpt, reviewNonfiction: The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch – excerpt, reviewBiography: De Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan – reviewPoetry: The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004 by Adrienne Rich – listen to Rich readCriticism: Where You’re at: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip Hop Planet by Patrick Neate – excerpt