Awards marginalia

  • Linda Grant’s The People on the Street won this years Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. The book tells the story of Grant, a non-religious Diaspora Jew, traveling to and in Israel in 2003. (Via The Millions.)
  • Kiran Desai won Britain’s most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker Prize, for her The Inheritance of Loss. The book tells the stories of an orphaned girl who goes to live with her grandfather, a retired judge, in an Indian village in the northern Himalayas and the son of the grandfather’s cook, who has emigrated to New York City.
  • Taking a huge step down, the winners of The Quill Awards also were announced. A glance through the winner’s list, particularly Book of the Year, shows why this truly is in search of a point.
  • The National Book Award finalists have been announced. I’m not doing well from a literary standpoint as I have read none of the fiction or nonfiction nominees. I note, though, that at least one of the fiction nominees, The Echo Maker, doesn’t even hit the street until next week. Last year’s nonfiction winner, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, was named a finalist the week after it hit the stores.
  • Although not awards-related, a hat tip to SFP at Pages Turned for the closing quote.

  • [E]very real book (as opposed to dictionaries, almanacs, and other compilations) is a mind, an imagination, a consciousness. Together, they comprise a civilization, or even several.

    William H. Gass, A Temple of Texts

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