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If you wanna be a writer you gotta be a reader.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More on National Book Awarding Judging


As an NBA panelist this year, I can tell you what the judging is not about. It's not about settling scores. Not about rewarding career achievement. Not about "side-lining already successful titles." Not about lifting up lesser known authors. In fact, it's not about literary politics or really anything described above: it's about the book at hand. Is it successful? That is, a good story extraordinarily well told? If so, the novel will rise up from the pile of hundreds of submissions, and find its way to the judges' final selections. Indeed, the panelists are so overwhelmed by the volume of reading that who wrote or published the book is far down the list of considerations. We don't much care about the author; but we care greatly for his or her book.

(in reaction to “What Does The National Book Award Stand For?  What Should It Stand For?”   NPR.org, Oct 14, 2011)

2 comments:

  1. I am so looking forward to hearing/reading more about your experience judging for the NBA. What a daunting task. What an honor! The very unfortunate mix up in the announcement must be very vexatious for all the judges. The upside is increased attention to one more book, which is a little bit of a consolation, but overall very distracting from the National Book Awards. Looking forward to further posts.

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