Wednesday October 13th, 2010

NBA Nominees Announced

i-hotel1The National Book Award finalists have been announced. In fiction, the lead story will probably be the absence of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. The other news is the presence of two small-press titles: I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita and Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon. Of the two, Lord of Misrule seems particularly surprising — Gordon’s novel was published by McPherson & Company, and it’s set at a run-down horse track in West Virginia. Sounds like something I might really enjoy.

I Hotel was published by Coffee House Press. Publishers Weekly said that Yamashita “strings together a stunningly complete vision of San Francisco’s Asian American community in the late 1960s and early ’70s, using the titular inn as a meeting point for ten loosely-connected novellas, each covering a single year.” That PW review concluded with this: “with varied commingling of voices and formats (stream-of-consciousness, slangy first person, quotes, dossiers, academic papers, even written-out choreography), the narrative reads like a collection of primary sources. Though it isn’t for everyone, this powerful, deeply felt, and impeccably researched fiction is irresistibly evocative and overwhelming in every sense.”

The nominees for fiction and nonfiction are below. For other categories, visit the NBA site (which appears to be down at the moment).

Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
Great House by Nicole Krauss
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq by John W. Dower
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Stewar by Justin Spring
Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War by Megan K. Stack