Awards season

So it looks like Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish writer, won the Nobel Prize for literature . I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read Snow….I have picked it up at the bookstore several times, but it kind of intimidated me. I am not familiar with the political situation in Turkey, but apparently his winning the Nobel is a bit controversial.

In other lit prize news, the finalists for the National Book Awards were announced yesterday. It’s an unusual list, and I’m thinking, since I have read absolutely none of the books on it, that I should add a few to my reading list. I did already have Peter Hessler’s book on my list, but the rest….Well, again, I am ashamed to say I am clueless and feeling not very well read.

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4 thoughts on “Awards season

  1. I tried to read Snow, and it’s quite good, what I read, but you really, really have to be in the mood for it. It’s a little like having a dream with very long monologues. You have to concentrate something fierce. Don’t feel bad about not getting into it. There’s a reason. It’s called – you don’t have 5 hours each day to pore over it.

  2. Try reading Pamuk’s memoir, Istanbul. It might be more accessible than Snow–though it still has some of his trademark dreamy narration.

    As for the National Book finalists–I’ve found that the National Book Awards always examines literature that is a bit off the beaten path. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get into most of the National Book Award winning books.

  3. I have to agree with jadepark on this one, especially this year. Did you see the excerpt from “Only Revolutions?” It would make David Foster Wallace proud, if that is any indication. Be that as it may, I’m going to take the kids to the book store today just so I can read more than a page and give it a fair shake. The story on the couple in post-9/11 looks profoundly tired. Ditto, the cop story. OF course, for all my posturing, I am not a finalist, and they are, so there you go. The Echo Maker has promise, but doesn’t come out for a few more days. I think I will definitely check that one out. Like a kid who’s gorged on cookies, I think I’m full up of all the 9/11 impact stories, at this point. (They’re not nearly as sweet, but, after ingesting one too many, they do have a similar, slightly nauseating effect.)

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