Ah, having made our way through the madness of the top-ten lists, award season is upon us. The Bloggies are of course merely one manifestation thereof. And while the various film awards are the ones that get the most press (and don’t they seem to be multiplying each year? As one of my now-emeritus colleagues used to say every year at the increasingly long senior-class awards ceremony, “All have competed; all must have prizes”), I personally find myself most wrapped up in the book award competitions.
And so, I’m thrilled to discover that this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award nominations are out. Top fiction honors will be awarded to one of:
- Monica Ali, “Brick Lane”
- Edward P. Jones, “The Known World”
- Caryl Phillips, “A Distant Shore”
- Richard Powers, “The Time of Our Singing”
- Tobias Wolff, “Old School”
As the Powers is the only of the five I’ve read, I’m happy to here officially announce him the front-runner. Let the mud-slinging begin.
Meanwhile, one-time commenter on this site, senior writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and momentary object of literary scholars’ wrath the blogosphere over, Scott McLemee has been awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Congratulations, Scott.