20 Nov '13, 1am

"Whom or what are literary awards for?" The NYTBR's Bookends column has its answers, and I've got mine:

Personally, I think it’d be great if the National Book Awards were as prominently celebrated in our mainstream culture as, say, the Oscars or even the Tonys—but that would require making books more “mainstream” than they are now, which would be a pretty big project, beyond our present scope. Unfortunately, the takeaway from the initial discussion was that the NBA judges were being chastised for “recognizing lesser-known authors for the sake of choosing lesser-known authors,” when they ought to be putting forward books more in alignment with the serious reading public’s sensibilities, as reflected either in the critical appraisal of mainstream reviewers or in actual sales, or in the place on the Venn diagram where those two circles overlap.

Full article: http://beatrice.com/wordpress/2013/11/19/whom-or-what-are...

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