A couple of months ago I posted about the longlist for the Lettre Ulysses Award, a prize that is given to the best book-length reporting. They have since announced the winner and runners-up, and this year the award went to The People on the Street: A Writer’s View of Israel by Linda Grant. Her book is a ground level view of life in Israel, placing it in counterpoint to the scads of books that look at the region from 35,000 feet. In an excerpt, we read about the reaction on the street in Tel Aviv when people found out that Saddam had been captured.
The finalists for the annual National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award have been announced. The fiction list is an eclectic five, in keeping with what is typically one of the more well-rounded fiction shortlists out there. Here are the finalists for fiction and non-fiction with excerpts and other links where available. In addition to the Fiction finalists, the John Leonard Prize, which goes to a debut work, was awarded to Phil Klay for Redeployment. Charles Finch was among the finalists for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. In October, Finch published "The Truce Between Fabulism and Realism: On Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the Modern Novel" at The Millions. Fiction Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman (Alameddine's Year in Reading) Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (The Book Report: Episode 5) Lily King, Euphoria (Celeste Ng's Year in Reading) Chang-Rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea (Bill Morris's Year in Reading) Marilynne Robinson, Lila ("Marilynne Robinson’s Singular Vision") Nonfiction David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (excerpt) Peter Finn and Petra Couvée, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book (excerpt) Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction ("Extinction Stories: The Ecological True-Crime Genre") Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (excerpt) Hector Tobar, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free (excerpt) For more on the NBCC Awards and the finalists in the other categories, visit the NBCC.
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The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has unveiled its massive 2013 longlist. Recall that libraries around the world can nominate books for the prize, and these nominations, taken together, comprise the longlist. This year there are 154 novels on the list, nominated by 120 libraries in 44 countries. All of the books must have been published in English in 2011 (including translations). Because of the award’s global reach and egalitarian process, it’s always interesting to dig deeper into the longlist. Taken as a whole, the literary tendencies of various countries become evident, and a few titles recur again and again, revealing which books have made a global impact on readers. Overall favorites: books that were nominated by at least seven libraries. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (15 libraries representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United States) The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (9 libraries representing Belgium and the United States) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (9 libraries representing Canada, Ireland, and the United States) The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (9 libraries representing Austria, Ireland, Norway, and the United States) The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (7 libraries representing Belgium, Canada, and the United States) The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst (7 libraries representing Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, Greece, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States) You can also look at the list and see which books are favorites in different countries. Several books were nominated by multiple libraries in the same country. Here’s a few: In Canada, Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan In Australia, Autumn Laing by Alex Miller In New Zealand, The Conductor by Sarah Quigley In the Netherlands, Julia by Otto de Kat, The Book of Doubt by Tessa de Loo, and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa There were also several countries with only one library nominating just one or two books. Here are a few of those: From Iceland, The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma From India, The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya From Jamaica, The Goat Woman of Largo Bay by Gillian Royes From Mexico, My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec From Sweden, The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson
Jamaican novelist Marlon James has won this year's Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Jamaican-born writer to win the Prize. Our own Janet Potter and Michael Schaub wrestled with the book on The Book Report earlier this year. Revisit this year's Booker Shortlist.
The finalists for the annual NBCC award are now out. The fiction list pairs a couple of less buzzed about books with three that have already received either award love or copious amounts of ink in the book pages and on blogs. Here are the finalists for fiction and non-fiction with excerpts and other links where available. As a side note, the NBCC award is particularly interesting in that it is the only major award that pits American books against British ones.FictionVikram Chandra, Sacred Games (excerpt, Garth's review)Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao (excerpt, Edan's review)Hisham Matar, In The Country of Men (excerpt, Booker shortlisted)Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravediggers Daughter (excerpt)Marianne Wiggins, The Shadow Catcher (excerpt, a Millions most anticipated book)NonfictionPhilip Gura, American Transcendentalism (excerpt)Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848 (New Yorker review)Harriet Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (excerpt)Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (excerpt, NBA Winner)Alan Weisman, The World Without Us (excerpt) For more on the NBCC Awards and the finalists in the other categories, check out the NBCC's blog.
The winners of the National Book Critics Circle Award have been announced in New York City. The award is voted on by critics and considers all books in English (including in translation), no matter the country of origin. The winners in the various categories and some supplementary links: Fiction: Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision (excerpt) Nonfiction: Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary War (excerpt) Autobiography: Mira Bartók, The Memory Palace: A Memoir ("The Writer at the Memory Table") Criticism: Geoff Dyer, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews ("Putting It Together," "The Millions Interview: Geoff Dyer on the London Riots, the Great War, and the Gray Lady") Biography: John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (excerpt) Poetry: Laura Kasischke, Space, in Chains Previously: The finalists