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Thread: Random Reading Thoughts: Y Kant I Read

  1. #961
    Christmas Time, You're So Fine! Bean's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
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    Has anyone read Human Acts by Kang Han? I ran across it in a book store and it sounds really damn good, but I'm trying to resist impulse buying.

  2. #962
    This is it. haqyunus's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Posts: 16,631
    This year's National Book Critics Circle Awards (NBCCA) nominees are below. Ward made it here and if she wins, then is she on her way to break the record for 3 major US literally awards for the same book!? She already the NBA. In non-fiction, Gessen also seems to be on her way to do that feat.

    FICTION:
    Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (Riverhead)
    Alice McDermott, The Ninth Hour (FSG)
    Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Knopf)
    Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)
    Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)


    NONFICTION:
    Jack Davis, Gulf: The Making of An American Sea (Liveright/Norton)
    Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)
    Masha Gessen, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (Riverhead)
    Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (Graywolf)
    Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes (The Experiment)


    No meat to pack the heat.


  3. #963
    Christmas Time, You're So Fine! Bean's Avatar
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    I'm glad that Saunders at least won the Booker.

  4. #964
    This is it. haqyunus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean View Post
    I'm glad that Saunders at least won the Booker.
    There is still Pulitzer. If Ward wins this which I think she will, I think that makes Saunders' chances higher.


    No meat to pack the heat.


  5. #965
    Christmas Time, You're So Fine! Bean's Avatar
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    I'm sort of surprised that Roy made the list, since Ministry of Utmost Happiness seemed to get a lukewarm response from what I'd read.

  6. #966
    Super Moderator Artimus's Avatar
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    Posts: 18,711
    They really need to adapt Bardo for the stage. It'll win like 6 Tonys.

  7. #967
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 6,582
    I have to say, I really don't understand the high regard for the Jesmyn Ward. I thought it was... fine? I doubt she wins the triple crown, but she could very well win two of the three, which is highly impressive. And it's weird that these prize bodies have not been here for the Saunders. I don't think he's winning the Pulitzer, at this rate.

    I feel like these are pretty unadventurous picks for the NBCC. Nice to see Joan Silber there, though. She's been writing for a long time, and has a relatively small, but dedicated readership. The Roy is kind of unexpected, but they do regularly throw in a random Commonwealth title that was nominated for the Booker, like Skippy Dies, A Tale for the Time Being, In the Country of Men, etc.

    I'm going to say it's between Ward and McDermott, if only because it's the second nomination for both (Ward was a memoir finalist a few years ago). I'd probably say the Pulitzer is between those two as well. McDermott is a three-time finalist, second only to Joyce Carol Oates (I believe)!

  8. #968
    Christmas Time, You're So Fine! Bean's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 10,530
    I got about 40 pages into Sing, Unburied, Sing and then never picked it up again. Just didn't do much for me. Will likely root for Hamid in fiction here. Would not complain at all if Gessen won in non-fiction to go with her NBA. I thought The Future is History was fantastic.

  9. #969
    My aunt used to live in Paris RayB's Avatar
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    RIP Ursula K. Le Guin
    .

  10. #970
    Super Moderator Artimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayB View Post
    RIP Ursula K. Le Guin
    FFS I missed this when it happened. What a terrible loss.


  11. #971
    the real lisa ching Sage's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: California Über Alles
    Posts: 10,337
    Hero. She has been very important to me since I was very small.

  12. #972
    Young and Seasoned Bremen's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: Cognitively diseased
    Posts: 9,423
    Absolutely devastated.

    I’ll always have a special love for her Earthsea books, The Other Wind being a particular favourite as it helped me through a very difficult time. “Farther west than west, my people are dancing, on the other wind.”

    I was also a huge fan of her short fiction, having first discovered her that way with “Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight”, a very strange work that opened my eyes to the possibility of science fiction/fantasy.

    She was unique. RIP.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #973
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Posts: 6,582
    The National Book Award will now recognize translated works in a brand new category!

    Starting this year, the National Book Foundation will recognize works in translation, opening up a distinctly American literary award to writers working in other languages. The new category marks a radical departure for awards, which began in 1950 “to celebrate the best of American literature.”

    The prize will be given jointly to authors and translators, and will be limited to fiction and nonfiction works by living authors that are published in the United States. International authors who write in English won’t be eligible.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/b...ok-awards.html

    Terrific news. There are a number of key prizes for literature in translation (the BTBA, Man Booker International), and the NBCC is open to translated works (though they usually account for a very small percentage of finalists). But the NBA is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary prizes in America. Their reach is presumably wider. I'm excited about this!

  14. #974
    This is it. haqyunus's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Posts: 16,631
    Has anyone read Joseph Cassara's 'The House of Impossible Beauties'? Came out his year and I am hearing good things about it, especially among queer lit. It is a novel set in the 1980s Paris Is Burning scene and suppose to be an authentic invocation if the era, people, language.


    No meat to pack the heat.


  15. #975
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by haqyunus View Post
    Has anyone read Joseph Cassara's 'The House of Impossible Beauties'? Came out his year and I am hearing good things about it, especially among queer lit. It is a novel set in the 1980s Paris Is Burning scene and suppose to be an authentic invocation if the era, people, language.
    Joseph Cassara is young, hot and Iowa-trained, so I feel duty-bound to hate him, lol. Kidding aside, I read it and thought it was okay, though, in the end, I couldn't shake the feeling that it's the work of a well-researched, well-educated author. The difference between this and something like Paris is Burning (clearly an inspiration) is that, in the film, those stories were told by people who had lived them firsthand. The novel, at times, felt like a facsimile, an approximation, of the real thing. This might not be fair, since I'm not certain I would have felt the same way if I hadn't known it was the work of a young writer who didn't live through these times -- but I think I might have. In any case, Cassara does a fairly good job recreating this period. I found it overlong, but it moves to quite a sad and haunting conclusion.

    I've also just started reading another new queer lit novel, Patrick Nathan's Some Hell.

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