Distant Reading

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2013 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced

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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: Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Americanah (excerptthe author’s Year in Reading)

Nonfiction: Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial (excerpt)

Autobiography: Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (<excerpt)

Criticism: Franco Moretti, Distant Reading

Biography: Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (excerpt)

Poetry: Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (The Poet and the Movie Star: An Evening with Frank Bidart and James Franco)


Previously: The finalists

“What’d You Major In?” “Big Literary Data.”

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John Sunyer checks in with Franco Moretti at the Stanford Literary Lab. Moretti, a 63-year-old professor of English, is the author of Distant Reading – a book in which he lays out his long-held belief that “literary study doesn’t require scholars to actually read the books.” Rather, he believes in a “new approach to literature [that] depends on computers to crunch ‘big data,’ or stores of massive amounts of information, to produce new insights.”

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