Off Topic: Booker Prize Winner & Donald Trump


Anne Enright’s (“exhilaratingly bleak”) novel, The Gathering, has just been announced winner of the Booker Prize, the annual contemporary fiction award, to writers from the British Commonwealth and Ireland.

I am writing about it here because once again the favorites were overlooked and reading the critique of the judging reminded me so much of the critiquing that takes place around the art fairs. Here is a synopsis:

Howard Davies criticized the UK’s newspaper reviewers for praising mediocre works from well-known writers and overlooking books like Enright’s. “I think a little more distance, and critical scepticism, is required by our reviewers, together with greater readiness to notice new names,” Davies said. He also indicated the judges were “surprised by the reverential tone adopted by reviewers in relation to books which, to us, did not come off at all.” Why the judges were even looking at reviews instead of just the books themselves was not addressed–nor have we seen that question posed yet by the UK papers – from Publishers Lunch, 10/17/07

Even more interesting was this tidbit of info:

People Paid to Line Up for Trump Book
Learning Annex president Bill Zanker paid people to line up outside the BN store on Fifth Avenue and 46th Street yesterday for a signing by Donald Trump of their joint book THINK BIG AND KICK ASS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE. Zanker dispensed $100 each to the first 100 people in line, $50 each to the next 100, and $10 each to the next 1,000 or so people.

Read the rest of this story at the New York Times blog.


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