What does the shortlist for the National Book Award Finalists tell us? First, that there's some good writing afoot here in the Colonies. But then, it's somewhat predictable, too.
In fiction, naturalized citizens, or their children, of the U.S. garnered most of the slots. Immigration and assimilation - as well as what these folk leave behind and why continues to absorb our interest, even here in fiction. Too, indie or small publishing houses are well represented here. And the shorter works - novellas or short story collections continue to draw praise. I've not read any of these, but from the listing, I favor either Andrew Krivak's The Sojourn and Jesmyn Ward's Salvage The Bones. Were I to bet the farm, however, I'd bet on Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife.
In non-fiction, romance seems to be attractive this year: The love lives and marriages of Karl Marx and of the Curies are represented, as well as other looks at cultures separate from that of the U.S. My fave, based on book synopses? The Convert, by Deborah Baker.
The poetry of of two well known writers, Adrienne Rich and Yusef Komunyakaa, have been nominated, and there's a list of youth book I know very little about.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.