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5 Responses to "Book News for Friday, April 14, 2006"
April 14, 2006 at 01:25 PM
That's precisely what I'm talking about, Georgie. You and Mark LOVED the Ishiguro and Lipsyte books, respectively, and had passionate reactions to them much more so than many of the judges had to the last two finalists. I would rather see some kind of passionate reaction than a collective shrug and a vote of "Guess I'll choose the lesser of the two evils, or flip a coin." Seems to me that degree of passion is what a "best book of the year" should be all about... even if it's only for one round.
April 14, 2006 at 11:41 AM
Sorry - just a little more from me - one of the snarky judges I'm afraid... I don't know what would happen if the judges all selected one of their favorites for the year. I know that my favorite book of the year last year was incidentally the one i was asked to judge in the first round. I admitted as much and was practically scolded for it in the commentary by Kevin Guilfoile: "As for this match-up,
The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole
really didn???t have a chance, did it? When we randomly assigned the pairings to judges, we didn???t know about the fainting-couch crush Georgie has on Ishiguro." Tee hee! And Mark admitted he had been praising
on his blog for a while as well.I'm not really sure if there is indeed an ideal way to do it.
April 14, 2006 at 11:35 AM
I would agree with Mark and posit that this happens frequently. Often enough, the week after the Booker Prize is anounced you get essays like
from Booker judges who spill the beans to the
on the judging process.
April 14, 2006 at 11:26 AM
Mark- That's a really good point. I have a hard time imagining five literary judges agreeing on much of anything. It's the nature of committees to arrive at compromises. This time the process just happened to be out in the open. Surely there's room for improvement all around.
April 14, 2006 at 10:59 AM
An interesting suggestion but I wonder about something. Someone (can't recall who) lauded the transparency of the Rooster project. One can't help but wonder if the NBA and Pulitzer and Booker experience similar feelings behind the scenes, it's just not out in the open like this. It's often remarked that the winners of these prizes feel like consensus choices, so I can't help but wonder if the situation was unique to us - despite the presence of a few uber-cranks - or if that's just the nature of book awards. Until I'm invited to judge the NBA, I can't offer much more than speculation ...
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