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Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Mendelsohn’

Geoff Dyer Wins NBCC Criticism Award

Author Edith Pearlman has won the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award for for fiction for her collection, Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories (Lookout Books) and Maya Jasanoff has won the nonfiction award for Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf).

Geoff Dyer took the criticism award for Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews (Graywolf Press). On Sunday, we will host a free online viewing of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker in honor of Dyer’s most recent book, Zona.

The award ceremony was held at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City. We’ve rounded up all the winners below…

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Sarah Hochman Cut at Simon & Schuster

s&slogo23.jpgThe New York Observer broke the news this afternoon that Simon & Schuster has cut senior editor Sarah Hochman. Yesterday, Anjali Singh joined the publisher as senior editor.

Here’s an excerpt from the article: “publisher Jonathan Karp fired senior editor Sarah Hochman this morning, confirmed a source at Simon & Schuster…Her authors included literary forger Lee Israel, who wrote a memoir of her exploits in 2008, and classicist Daniel Mendelsohn, whose next book Simon acquired at auction last summer.”

In 2008, the New York Times interviewed Hochman about her surreal job of editing a memoir by famous faker. Israel had forged a number of autographs and notes from famous writers, including Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. “We try to think about what the author is saying and how she is saying it,” explained Hochman.

Jean-Luc Godard May Adapt Holocaust Book

14863462.JPGJean-Luc Godard, the French film director who publicly criticized Steven Spielberg for his handling of Schindler’s List, is considering adapting a book about the Holocaust.

The director is eying “The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million” by NY Times writer Daniel Mendelsohn, a title that focused on one journalist’s attempt to find out what happened to his family in Poland during the Nazi occupation. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the book was popular in France–securing the French literary award, Prix Medicis.

Here’s more about the potential film: “Godard, who turns 79 in the fall, never has taken on the Holocaust directly, but several of his films — including the Algerian war picture ‘Le petit soldat,’ the anti-war pic ‘Les carabiniers’ and his most recent work, the 2004 triptych ‘Notre musique’ — deal with complex political and philosophical questions.”

And the NBCC Awards Go To…

While NBCC Board member Rebecca Skloot liveblogged the awards, Ron and I sat through a somewhat speedy ceremony emceed by president John Freeman and highlighted by Mary Gordon‘s glowing retrospective and tribute (accompanied by retro Jill Krementz photography) to Sandrof winner John Leonard, followed by Leonard’s own words, a speech so filled with mirth, self-deprecation and reflections on present and past reviewing that I hope the transcript is made publicly available at some point. Nona Balakian winner Steven G. Kellman was a quote-a-minute, namechecking the gamut from H.L. Mencken (who had unkind words about criticism and even more scathing words about poetry – partly because of a volume he himself had written and then done everything in his power to squelch) to Lily Tomlin (“we’re all in this together – alone,” as applied to book critics, who Kellman quipped “are the only critics who can do their job in their underwear.”)

Then came the awards:

Criticism: Lawrence Weschler, EVERYTHING THAT RISES: A BOOK OF CONVERGENCES (McSweeney’s)
Poetry: Troy Jollimore, TOM THOMSON IN PURGATORY (Margie/Intuit House)
Non-Fiction: Simon Schama, ROUGH CROSSINGS: BRITAIN, SLAVES AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (Ecco)
Biography: Julie Phillips
, JAMES TIPTREE, JR.: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF ALICE B. SHELDON (St. Martin’s Press)
Autobiography: Daniel Mendelsohn, THE LOST (HarperCollins)
Fiction: Kiran Desai, THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS (Atlantic Monthly Press)

It’s an award winner list of some surprise – Jollimore’s win especially surprised the poetry faithful in the audience – and some that might have seemed like a surprise, like Desai, but on further reflection are just about right. Ron’s got more about notable quotes and the afterparty, but I’m especially happy to have chatted with John Leonard about his new prize, his belief that literary blogs are “where the passion is” and finding good books to read that might be off most people’s radar. It doesn’t get much better than that.