Friday January 21st, 2011

Rooster Combatants Unveiled

roosterEvery March, the online magazine The Morning News hosts the knock-down, drag-out Tournament of Books, wherein 16 works of fiction compete to be called the year’s best. Then, at the end, they play “One Shining Moment” over clips of Franzen getting pumped up before a match or Mantel on a breakaway dunk. I’m excited to be one of the judges for this year’s action. The rest of the judges were announced yesterday, along with the 16 books that will enter the steel cage.

Past winners of the Rooster (the winner theoretically receives a live rooster) are: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Accidental by Ali Smith, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, A Mercy by Toni Morrison, and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

I would speculate as to what those winners say about this year’s likely favorites, but I should probably recuse myself from that this year. To fuel your own speculation, here are this year’s finalists:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Nox by Anne Carson
Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
Room by Emma Donoghue
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
Bloodroot by Amy Greene
Next by James Hynes
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Model Home by Eric Puchner
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne
Savages by Don Winslow