On Nov. 16, literary types will put on their evening wear, gather in a Manhattan ballroom and clap politely for the presentation of this year’s National Book Awards. It’s the publishing industry’s biggest awards ceremony — and its best excuse to party — but it remains a subdued affair. Last year’s jolt of celebrity came from a jeans-wearing Patti Smith, whose “Just Kids” won the nonfiction award. Far more typical was the fiction prize, which went to the little-known “Lord of Misrule,” by Jaimy Gordon. It would have been a shocking choice if the National Book Awards weren’t known for this sort of thing. They’re awards for insiders.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Book Awards Tonight
Craig Fehrman writes in The New York Times about the National Book Awards which take place tonight: