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Posts Tagged ‘Jill Lepore’

Timothy Egan & Richard Ford Win Andrew Carnegie Medals

The American Library Association (ALA) named two winners of this year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

Richard Ford won the fiction category for CanadaTimothy Egan took the nonfiction category for his biography, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life & Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis.

Each medalist receives $5,000 in prize money. The finalists were each also given $1,500.

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Charles Dickens Summer Camp!

The New Yorker ran a long dispatch from Jill Lepore at the annual Dickens Universe at the University of California, Santa Cruz, an event she called “Charles Dickens camp.”

Here’s more about the event: “a week of discussing Dickens, sleeping in dormitories, and eating in a cafeteria, bringing together literary scholars, teachers, and students, with readers who love Dickens. Every year the campers read a different book. This year, it was “Great Expectations,” which also happens to have been a recent selection of Oprah’s Book Club.”

This GalleyCat editor loves, loves, loves the idea of going to summer camp to study your favorite author. What author do you think deserves their own summer camp? If you like the idea of Dickens camp, the project depends on donations during these tough economic times. Follow this link to donate.

Brief History of Authors vs. Critics

Following yesterday’s posts about authors confronting critics on the Internet, Salon.com writer Mary Elizabeth Williams published a fascinating history of the critic-bashing genre.

The story collected of other notable literary feuds from the 21st Century: Dave Eggersemail exchange with a NY Times reporter, Caleb Carr‘s angry words about a Salon review, and Stanley Crouch‘s confrontation with a well-known critic.

Finally, in a follow-up post Williams noted that author Ayelet Waldman had left an angry Twitter post about a recent review she received in The New Yorker: “May Jill Lepore rot in hell. That is all.” GalleyCat grabbed that screenshot from Waldman’s Twitter feed:

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Literary Prize Blacklists Random Over Medina

Here’s an interesting sidenote to the Sherry Jones situation: The Langam Charitable Trust has issued a statement deploring Random House‘s cancellation of Jones’s novel so strongly that “until The Jewel of Medina is actually published, [we] will not consider submissions of any books, for any of our prizes, from Random House or any of its affiliates.”

So that’s the $1,000 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction and the $1,000 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History or Biography off the table for Random-affiliated authors until 2009 at the earliest—bad news for, at the very least, David Ebershoff (The 19th Wife), David Liss (the forthcoming The Whiskey Rebels), and Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore (the also-forthcoming Blindspot), all of whom would appear, based on an admittedly incomplete reading, to have otherwise had as strong a chance of winning the fiction prize as Random House author/editor Kurt Andersen, who won last year’s award for Heyday. (The legal history prize has never gone to a press not affiliated with an American university in the seven-year history of the award.) “Serious ideas, even if offensive to some, flourish in books,” representatives for the Langum Trust wrote. “Random House has exhibited a degree of cowardly self-censorship that seriously threatens the American public’s access to the free marketplace of ideas… We do this reluctantly, since our most recent prize in American historical fiction went to a Random House title. Nevertheless, this issue must be confronted.”

Is this, however, the right way to confront it? Should these (and other) authors suffer a literary penalty for a corporate decision involving another author, one in which they had no hand whatsoever? What do you think?