* Truth be told, I rarely read contemporary fiction because I am acutely aware that there is so much of Henry James, Charles Dickens, and Philip Roth that I have yet to touch--to say nothing of Thomas Mann, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Since life is short, I keep getting pulled back to this calculus: Why invest X hours in a book from 2010 that has a 1 in 500 chance of being truly great when I can instead read a classic that has already passed that test? Honestly I have yet to hear a truly compelling counter-argument--although I feel guilty about the fact that, if everyone followed my logic, the impact on the royalty earnings of my fellow Authors Guild members would be devastating.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Cream of This Year's Fiction According to NBA
If like me you haven't gotten around to reading the finalists for the National Book Award in Fiction, you might find this article handy.* It's a kind of crib sheet with impressionistic descriptions and brief excerpts from each book, as well as the author's own opinion as to which book should win (it's one of the long shots). The winner will be announced tomorrow.