Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists

Joyce Carol Oates is nominated by the National Book Critics Circle in two categories: Fiction and Autobiography. Her autobiography is called The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982. Well, that's one way to do it. I don't know about you but I'm totally pissing my pants with anticipation -- how will I put in the long lonely months before The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates, 1983–1992 comes out?

Her fiction is called The Gravedigger's Daughter, in the glittering tradition of naming things The X's Daughter, where X is something dark and unsavory. Hey it worked for Loretta Lynn and Amy Tan.

Other notable nominations: A biography of Thomas Hardy. A book called American Transcendentalism (How long are people going to waste their time promoting the myth of Emerson?) And finally, the poetry nominees rip their wigs off and light up the night with their awesome titles: Elegy, Modern Life, Sleeping and Waking, The Ballad of Jamie Allan, and New Poems. Next to the stage: Storage, Breathing In and Out in a Steady Predictable Rhythm, and Sand.

CRITICAL MASS: The 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists


  1. Claire Tomalin's pretty good, you know. If you're not interested in Thos. Hardy, on the other hand, you shouldn't be reading any of the books on the list. You should be reading Thomas Hardy.

    Did you see what I just did there?

  2. I love Thomas Hardy! With a burning passion!

  3. Just wandered over here after you wandered past my blog (terribly constructed sentence, I know).

    We went to visit Thomas Hardy's house a while back, while on holiday. I knew nothing about him before the visit, and after learning something decided I probably wouldn't have liked him very much...

    It's funny, isn't it - how people build an expectation of a person's character through their writing, and it can be completely and utterly misleading.

  4. ouch. another jibe at Emerson. I can take it. Bring it on! (and I mean that in a non-violent transcendentalist way.)

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