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Lauren Myracle on National Book Award Controversy: ‘I Was Going to be Taken Off the List Regardless’

Vanity Fair landed an interview with young adult author Lauren Myracle about a major mix-up at the National Book Awards.

Yesterday she withdrew from consideration for the 2011 National Book Awards after an error put Myracle’s Shine on the finalist list instead of Franny Billingsley‘s Chime. On Twitter, writers and readers have rallied behind Myracle at the #isupportshine hashtag. In the interview, she described the dreaded phone call from executive director Harold Augenbraum.

She explained: “He was diplomatic, but he more or less said that the position was being changed and that people wanted Shine off the list. And how did I feel about that? I felt gutted. I felt embarrassed, and ashamed that I had the gall to believe that this book was worthy. So over the weekend came the question of, Do I withdraw, or do I let them strip it from me? I first thought: They made the mistake; they can clean it up. Then I realized that I had a chance to either be classy or be seen as someone gripping with white knuckles to something they didn’t want me to have. And I was going to be taken off the list regardless.”

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