11.15.2006

National Book Award Winners

Fiction
Richard Powers, The Echo Maker

Nonfiction
Timothy Egan
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Poetry
Nathaniel Mackey, Splay Anthem

Young People's Literature
M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party

More info here
As usual, all good things start with Michael Cader

4 comments:

carlynarr said...

YEEEEESSSSSSSSS I am SO GLAD that M.T. Anderson won!!!! That man is UNSTOPPABLE! YES! I'm going to dance a jig now.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

I paged through Octavian Nothing while I was supposed to be shelving (heh, it was in the Juv Fic New Bay, it's like I was MEANT to pick it up and read)...

Very high-minded and the sentence structure was complex, as well as the narrator reminding me a bit of Severian from Gene Wolf's New Sun series (maybe his sense of detatchment as he describes the world around him). Good to see challenging stuff is still being published for children.

Anonymous said...

given the length and complexity, how exactly is Anderson's book "Young People's Literature"?

carlynarr said...

How is Anderson's book "Young People's Literature"?

That's what you're asking, Anonymous?

Since when can fantastic, well-written, thought-provoking books for young adults not be long (I'm surprised you consider 350 pages long) and complex? M.T. Anderson writes children's books and young adult novels. "Young people" is a broad term. It could probably mean anyone from age 5 to age 18 or 19.

To borrow a phrase from Miss Snark, here's a clue. Kids aren't dumb. Teens and others can recognize a great book when they read one, regardless of its length or complexity. Children's books (excluding PB and Easy Readers), if written well, are not written to talk down to readers or be purposely a whole lot shorter or less complex than adult books. The best writers of children's literature (M.T. Anderson is right up there), I'm sure, don't write like they're trying to aim their books at kids. They just write, and they write well.