Tuesday July 7th, 2009

NBA All-Stars

ellison-invisible-man-gray-435To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the National Book Awards will pick an all-time National Book Award champion in the Fiction category. (The Booker Prize has already done this: Midnight’s Children won.)

In the NBA contest, writers will narrow down the candidates to six, and then the public will vote. So, who should be the morning-line favorite? There are some serious heavyweights involved. To wit: Invisible Man, The Adventures of Augie March, Gravity’s Rainbow, The Collected Stories of Flannery O’Connor and All the Pretty Horses. Given that the public votes on the winner, it’s possible that a more contemporary popular writer will take the crown: John Irving (The World According to Garp) or Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections) or — egad — Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain).

I’m going to guess the initial committee won’t name any of those books in the final six, and I’ll predict that Invisible Man wins it. But with such a tough field, I can’t make it any better than 5-1. On the NBA site, they’re blogging about each of the candidates, one per day, here. If the cover’s lit up, there’s a post about it. They start with Nelson Algren’s The Man with the Golden Arm.

(Via Omnivoracious)