The Nobel Prize for Literature2012, went to ... Mo Yan!

 

The National Book Award finalists for Fiction include 

 

Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her  

Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King   

Louise ErdrichThe Round House   

Ben FountainBilly Lynn's Long Halftime Walk   

Kevin PowersThe Yellow Birds   

 

Nonfiction

Anne ApplebaumIron Curtain  

Katherine BooBehind the Beautiful Forevers   

Robert A. CaroThe Passage of Power  

Domingo MartinezThe Boy Kings of Texas   

Anthony ShadidHouse of Stone  

 

Poetry

David FerryBewilderment   

Cynthia HuntingtonHeavenly Bodies   

Tim SeiblesFast Animal  

Alan ShapiroNight of the Republic  

Susan WheelerMeme  

 

How many of these have I read? On the fiction list, I've read the Junot Díaz, which is really wonderful. On the nonfiction side, I have read excerpts of Katherine Boo's amazing portrait of modern Mumbai, And the David Ferry, on the poetry list, of all things, for he was one of my freshman English instructors, and I was lucky enough to take an undergraduate poetry class from him as well--analysis, not writing!

 

Ben Fountain is next on my fiction list. I admit I'm not the world's biggest Louise Erdich fan, so I may skip that one, but Robert Caro -- for nonfiction of course! As lengthy as his books are, ever since I read his magisterial classic The Power Broker, about urban planner Robert Moses and New York City, I have little trouble picking up one of Caro's weighty tomes.

 

What about you? Who do you think are the front-runners, and which of these finalists have you read? My money's on Díaz, Boo or Caro, and Ferry. We will see!

 

 

 

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