You better hope you haven’t been nominated for any book prizes this year. (No, not really. Let’s hope you have.) A new study coming out in the March issue of Administrative Science Quarterly finds that prize winners face a backlash from readers. According to The Guardian, Amanda Sharkey and Balázs Kovács looked at 38,817 reader reviews on GoodReads.com. They compared the reviews of books that had won an award to reviews of books that had not. Apparently the reviews of the award winners took a notable nose dive after their authors’ accolades were announced. Sharkey and Kovács hypothesized that “many readers who are drawn in by prize-winning books tend to have tastes that are simply not predisposed to liking the types of books that win prizes.” That sounds like a circumspect way of calling us superficial social climbers for reading a book because it won an award. Doesn’t everyone presume something award-winning must be particularly outstanding and therefore worthy of our time? That doesn’t mean every book that wins a Booker Prize or every movie that wins an Oscar or every restaurant that wins a James Beard Award is going to be your favorite thing ever, but still it’s worth a shot. Also, checking Goodreads.com for your case study seems pretty amateur. What do you guys think? [The Guardian]
Tag: Awards (1-10 of 65)
Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be published in the U.S. on August 12th. The book has been out in Japan since last April and sold more than a million copies in its first week. The Guardian writes that the story “hinges around Tsukuru Tazaki, an isolated 36-year-old man struggling to overcome the trauma of rejection by his high-school friends years earlier. Like its title, the novel’s opening line might not sound like obvious best-seller material: ‘From July of his sophomore year at college to January next year, Tsukuru Tazaki was living while mostly thinking about dying.’”
You read that right. Apparently the nation’s capital is the most literate city in America for the fourth year in a row. News to me. I thought everyone in DC was on the phone with donors all day. The study was conducted by Central Connecticut State University, and it takes into account the number of bookstores, library resources, Internet use, educational levels and newspaper circulation of 77 of the largest cities in America. And coming in at 77th is Bakersfield, CA. Poor Bakersfield. They also took the gold medal in worst air quality in 2013. Let’s show them some love in 2014 please. [USA Today]
Today the Folio Society announced its shortlist of nominees for their inaugural Folio Prize, which honors English-language fiction from around the world that is published in the UK, regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. The prize is £40,000 and a ticket to the “glittering ceremony at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.” Sounds like luxury! The authors in the running are Anne Carson, Amity Gaige, Jane Gardam, Kent Haruf, Rachel Kushner, Eimear McBride, Sergio De La Pava, and George Saunders. The biggest surprise is the heavy representation of Americans, who make up five of the eight nominees. Saunders was listed for his latest short-story collection Tenth of December. [Folio Prize]
Great news from Dreamworks this morning. The studio is opening a book publishing unit that will put out titles based on their animated films, like Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. The books will be available in print and digital formats, which is great, but I hope that they offer audiobooks of Madagascar read by the lemurs. Or better yet, classics read by the lemurs. Tuck Everlasting would be so much easier to choke down if it were read by the lemurs. [Wall Street Journal]
British writer Kate Atkinson has won the novel-of-the-year prize at Britain’s Costa Book Awards with her reality-altering historical saga Life After Life.
Other winners in the event’s five categories include poet Michael Symmons Roberts for his collection Drysalter and mental health nurse Nathan Filer, who takes the first-novel prize for his saga of madness, The Shock of the Fall.
Lucy Hughes-Hallett won the biography category for her portrait of an Italian Fascist, The Pike, while author and illustrator Chris Riddell won the children’s book prize for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse.
One of the five books named Monday will be chosen as the overall winner and awarded 30,000 pounds ($50,000) at a Jan. 28 ceremony. The awards are open to writers based in Britain and Ireland.
Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House is among the winners this year of an American Book Award, which celebrates the diversity of the country’s literature.
Others among the 34 honored at a ceremony this weekend at the Miami Book Fair International included Philip P. Choy’s San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide To Its History & Architecture and Judy Grahn’s A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet.
Critic Greil Marcus won for lifetime achievement. Natalie Diaz’s poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec and Will Alexander’s book of essays Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat also won prizes.
There were no cash awards or individual competitive categories.
The awards were established in 1980 by the Before Columbus Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by author-poet-playwright Ishmael Reed that promotes multicultural literature.
A biography of Italian fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio has won Britain’s leading nonfiction book prize.
The Pike, by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, was awarded the 20,000 pound ($32,000) Samuel Johnson Prize on Monday. The book tells the story of D’Annunzio, a debauched Italian artist who became a national hero.
Martin Rees, who chaired the judging panel, praised Hughes-Hallett’s “intricate crafting” of the narrative and said readers will be transfixed by her portrayal of “repellent egotist” D’Annunzio.
“Her original experimentation with form transcends the conventions of biography,” Rees said.
Hughes-Hallett has written two other books: Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions and Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen.
READ FULL STORY
There are quite a few famous names among the National Book Award finalists, which were announced this morning. Among the fiction contenders are Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri for her novel The Lowland and the famously press-shy Thomas Pynchon for Bleeding Edge. Even the least known novelist, Rachel Kushner, has been a finalist before. See below for the entire shortlist in all four categories: READ FULL STORY
Youth and heft triumphed at the Booker Prize on Tuesday, as 28-year-old New Zealand author Eleanor Catton won the fiction award for The Luminaries, an ambitious 832-page murder mystery set during a 19th-century gold rush.
The choice should give heart to young authors of oversized tales. Catton is the youngest writer and only the second New Zealander to win the prestigious award — and her epic novel is easily the longest Booker champion.
Travel writer Robert Macfarlane, who chaired the judging panel, called The Luminaries “dazzling” and “luminous.”
“It is vast without being sprawling,” he said.
“You begin it, feel you are lost, think you are in the clutches of a big, baggy monster … but soon realize you are in something as tightly structured as an orrery,” a device for measuring the planets.
READ FULL STORY
The book world is a buzz with the news that short story virtuoso Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature. Fans and well-wishers — including other prominent authors — have taken to Twitter to congratulate Munro. Check out Margaret Atwood, Jodi Picoult, Salman Rushdie, and others’ reactions to the “master of the contemporary story” winning the Nobel Prize:
Okay,everyone’s calling Me to get me to write about Alice! (Alice, come out from behind the tool shed and pick up the phone.) #AliceMunro
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro SOOOO deserves the Nobel Prize. Hurray for short stories!
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) October 10, 2013
Also, alice munro! Wasn’t expecting that. Stunned in a refreshing manner. — Christopher Barzak (@Cbarzak) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro! Nobel Prize! Beautiful stories beautifully rendered beautifully rewarded. Beautiful. — Hart Hanson (@HartHanson) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro. Nobel Prize. Good thing. — Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro news has been the second reminder in a week why no one reads (or needs to read) the LRB. — Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro! Alice Munro! Alice Munro! — Andrew Pyper (@andrewpyper) October 10, 2013
I once waited on Alice Munro in a restaurant. And yes, world media, I’m available for interviews. — Andrew Pyper (@andrewpyper) October 10, 2013
What with all the hoopla, I’m already dreading the inevitable Alice Munro backlash. — coreyredekop (@CoreyRedekop) October 10, 2013
Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize in Literature! Those of you who know me know how happy this makes me…. http://t.co/JMed9q2Smj
— Cheryl Strayed (@CherylStrayed) October 10, 2013
Smiling big here. (Unlike a Munro character.) “Canadian Alice Munro, master of the short story, wins Nobel lit prize“
— Melissa Wiley (@melissawiley) October 10, 2013
Canadian author Alice Munro, cited as a “master of the contemporary story,” was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature this morning in Stockholm, Sweden. In a statement, she said, “This is so surprising and wonderful. I am dazed by all the attention and affection that has been coming my way this morning. It is such an honour to receive this wonderful recognition from the Nobel Committee, and I send them my thanks.”
She added, “When I began writing there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world. Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. I’m so thrilled to be chosen as this year’s Nobel Prize recipient. I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form.”
Munro, 82, has been listed as a leading contender for the honor for several years after having won most of the top literary prizes for which she’s eligible. Her first short story collection, Dance of the Happy Shades, garnered rave reviews in upon its release in 1968. Of her 14 short story collections, Open Secrets (1994) is often considered her seminal work. Her stories often center on rural settings in Southern Ontario and tend to be more driven by salient details and revelations than external events.
Last year, Munro announced that Dear Life, which came out in paperback in June, would be her final short story collection.
Munro is the first North American author to receive the prize since the United States’ Toni Morrison won in 1993. The winner is also awarded 8 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.2 million.
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