Tag Archives: national book awards

The Food at the National Book Awards: A Review

Gabe Habash -- November 17th, 2011

The National Book Awards were held last night, going to Thanhha Lai, Nikky Finney, Stephen Greenblatt, and Jesmyn Ward. But while you can type in “National Book Awards” in Google and get 13,100,000 results, most of which will be slight variations of the same article, here at PWxyz we set the bar a little higher for ourselves. We’re all about giving you a scoop that you won’t find anywhere else. Which is why this is a review of the food at the 2011 National Book Awards.

The weather decided it wanted to rain on November 16 in New York City. So, with my apt. 5 umbrella I made my way down to Wall Street for the awards, my first. I made a quick detour to Zuccotti Park, and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting 30 protestors to be huddled around in ponchos (I got a flash of that scene in March of the Penguins when the weather really gets bad) while police (which numbered a lot more than 30) and spectators stood around silently. It was like I’d stumbled upon a dress rehearsal and no one knew their lines. The only sound seemed to be the scraping of a city worker’s dustpan as he swept up soggy leaves. Encircling the barricades and the park were at least 20 news trucks. I had my phone out, in my hand. I was going to take a picture of Zuccotti Park for my mom. I put my phone back in my pocket.

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What Do Book Awards Mean to You?

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 8th, 2011

This week the National Book Critics Circle will give out its annual awards (the blogger is on the board).  A few months ago, the National Book Foundation gave out its award, and a couple of months from now, we’ll hear about the Pulitzer.  Plus, last week, Anthony Doerr won the Story Prize, a $20,000 award for short fiction.

All these awards make me wonder what book awards mean to various kinds of people–authors, editors, booksellers.  How do they affect the way you think about, edit, write, publish, but or sell books.  We’d love to hear from a few folks in the comments below.  Are book awards important?  Do they usually indicate standout books, or is it all just politics?  What do you think?

The 2010 National Book Award Winners

Calvin Reid -- November 18th, 2010

Jaimy Gordon

In something of a surprise, Jaimy Gordon’s novel of women, horses and rinky dink racetracks, Lord of Misrule (McPherson & Co.), won the National Book Award for fiction and rocker, singer/songwriter and crowd favorite Patti Smith won the nonfiction award for her powerful memoir, Just Kids (Ecco), a look back on her long friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and life in New York in the 1960s.  Kathryn Erskine’s novel Mockingbird (Philomel Books), a vivid excursion into the mind of a 10 year-old with Asperger’s Snydrome, won for Young People’s Literature and poet Terrance Hayes was awarded the poetry prize for Lighthead (Penguin Books).

Patti Smith

Joan Ganz Cooney, former president and CEO of Sesame Workshop (the acclaimed Sesame Street TV show), received the NBA’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community; and novelist Tom Wolfe, author of many acclaimed novels and works of nonfiction, received the NBA’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

This year’s National Book Awards were held once again at Cipriani on Wall Street in New York City and hosted by New Yorker magazine humorist Andy Borowitz, who announced to an audience of book industry professionals fretting over the growth of digital books and the future of print, that “We’re here to celebrate the book—and its bastard cousin, the e-book.”

Longshot Comes In by Michael Coffey

Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule, a 10-1 longshot in an informal PW poll taken on the eve of the National Book Award dinner last night at Cipriani’s, was a sure bet to one person: publisher Bruce McPherson, sole proprietor at McPherson & Co. in Kingston, N.Y., who told PW two weeks ago that he had prepared a galley this summer from an long-ago draft of the novel, sent it to Gordon, and said he wanted to publish it “in time for NBA consideration.” Gordon laughed, but liked what she saw, and they rushed to revise and print for the Nov. 15 deadline. McPherson’s hunch (appropriate for a book about horse racing) paid off big time. Last Friday, Gordon’s newly minted agent, Bill Clegg, sold the reprint rights on behalf of McPherson to Vintage’s Tim O’Connell for $25,000 and a $100,000 bonus should the book win  the Fiction award five days later.  Clegg, on Gordon’s behalf, also sold O’Connell the author’s next novel, The Picnic, with a similar bonus provision, for the Pantheon list. Clegg described the new book as “ the story of six Jews who leave a small German village in the years after Hitler becomes Chancellor and the modern-day American Jewish woman who finds them playing cards in a cave more than half a century later.” Horse racing, now card playing, from an author with a hot hand.

Who Will Win the National Book Awards?

Craig Morgan Teicher -- November 17th, 2010

Tonight’s the night: the National Book Awards ceremony in New York City.  We hope you’ll check in with us here PWxyz and @PublishersWkly on Twitter for our coverage.  In the meantime, we thought we’d run a little poll.  Who do you think will win the NBA for fiction this year (since, right or wrong, that’s the one everybody seems to watch)?

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010

Craig Morgan Teicher -- October 14th, 2010

What we’re reading this morning…

Lost Seuss: A blog post with pictures of a lost Dr. Seuss manuscript. From Booktryst.

Bookstore to Close Over Parking Dispute: The owner of an Asheville bookstore is closing down due to the negative reaction to his stance on public parking. From the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Eggers Is Optimistic: Dave Eggers told audiences at the SF Litquake festival that he’s feeling good about the future of books. From the SF Gate.

Franzen Snubbed by NBAs?: Will this be the big story of this year’s National Book Awards? From Salon.

Tracking the NBA Finalist Backlash: Ron Hogan of Beatrice tracks the backlash against this year’s National Book Award finalists, and looks back at previous years’ lashes.

Publisher Didn’t Submit Booker Winner: One of the Booker judges has revealed that the panel had to request The Finkler Question. From the Bookseller.

Will iPad Save Conde Nast?: Gawker wonders whether the magazine publisher’s leap into the world of the iPad will pay off.

Verizon to Pre-Load Kindle App: According to Mashable!, Verizon will pre-load the Kindle app on some Android phones.