Thursday, October 12, 2006

Obligatory awards roundup

  • This year's Nobel Prize winner for literature: Orhan Pamuk.
The selection of Pamuk, whose recent trial for ''insulting Turkishness'' raised concerns about free speech in Turkey, continues a trend among Nobel judges of picking writers in conflict with their own governments. British playwright Harold Pinter, a strong opponent of his country's involvement in the Iraq war, won last year. Elfriede Jelinek, a longtime critic of Austria's conservative politicians and social class, was the 2004 winner.
A notable lack of the heavy hitters with new books out (McCarthy, Pynchon, Roth, et al). Still, maybe this will turn more people onto Powers' stuff.
She becomes the youngest ever woman to win the prize, doing one better than her mother, Anita Desai, who was nominated for the award three times, most recently in 1999, but failed to win.

Kiran Desai's book [The Inheritance of Loss] was hailed by the judges as "a magnificent novel of humane breadth and wisdom, comic tenderness and powerful political acuteness".

Accepting her award, she praised her mother, to whom she said she owes "a debt so profound and so great that this book feels as much hers as it does mine."
Apparently there's now something called the Quills, which sounds like a rather desperate attempt on the behalf of the publishing industry to sex up its image by tossing celebrities and an NBC television broadcast into the mix. The top book prize went to Tyler Perry. The defense rests.

And somehow I missed this when it was announced, but:
Other recipients include writers David Carroll, Atul Gawande, Adrian LeBlanc, David Macaulay and Sarah Ruhl, as well as musician John Zorn (a personal favorite, yay for that).

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