« As if we don't have enough to read, Oprah | Main | Go figure »

An honor just to be nominated

Miami's Edwidge Danticat didn't win The National Book Award for her searing memoir Brother, I'm Dying Danticat_edwidge Wednesday night, but we love her anyway. The nonfiction award went to Tim Weiner for his well-received CIA history A Legacy of Ashes. Haven't read Ashes, but the buzz has been good on it, so congrats to Weiner (even though we were not-so-secretly rooting for the hometown hero).

And for once the fiction winner was the favorite: Denis Johnson's towering Vietnam novel Tree of Smoke. After taking one look at the size of that sucker, I pawned it off on the excellent freelance writer Andrew Ervin, who wrote:

"I'm not sure there's been a better Vietnam novel since William Eastlake's The Bamboo Bed. Honestly, I can't be sure that there's been a better American novel published in the past 10 years. Johnson understands the conflicts at the heart of the American psyche, and in Tree of Smoke he delivers the sort of historical novel that not only shows us where we've been but also shines a light on where we're going. It is a masterpiece."

Read Andrew's review here: http://www.miamiherald.com/215/v-print/story/232057.html

Other winners: Sherman Alexie won the award for young adult literature with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Robert Hass won for poetry with Time and Materials.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e200e54f83bdee8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference An honor just to be nominated:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Andrew

It was a joy to review TREE OF SMOKE for you, Connie. Thanks for linking that review...

Connie

I take it you're pleased it won the award?

Andrew

They're ALL winners, Connie.

I liked the Jim Shepard collection a whole lot too.

Connie

In the fiction category, Fieldwork is also a terrific book. I wish I'd reviewed it (maybe when it comes out in paperback?) The detail about Thailand and the way Mischa Berlinski drags you into this story about a family of missionaries and a murder is riveting.

The comments to this entry are closed.

-
 
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise