And the prize for great literature goes to... nobody
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Wednesday 18 April 2012
For the first time in 35 years, the Pulitzer Prize board has announced there's no fiction prize for 2012. US publishers are in uproar: the prize money is nugatory ($10,000) but the boost to sales incalculable. It's as if the board announced there's no Christmas this year.
You could blame the three-member fiction jury – a critic, a literary editor and Michael (The Hours) Cunningham – who read 341 novels and offered the board a rubbish shortlist. Train Dreams by Dennis Johnson is a novella. David Foster Wallace's The Pale King, unfinished at his death, was completed by his editor, so it's a patchwork. And Swamplandia by Karen Russell is a first novel. These were the cream of US fiction last year?
Imagine, though, how superior the board must feel, in being able to announce categorically that good fiction simply hasn't occurred this year. Like the 1975 Booker Prize, whose jury (Angus Wilson, Peter Ackroyd, Susan Hill and Roy Fuller) found only two of the year's novels worth shortlisting. Or Melody Maker the same year, who were so disgusted by the lack of excitement in 1975 (just before punk,) they awarded Rock Album of the Year to Canadian folkies the McGarrigle Sisters. How pleasing to be able to dismiss a whole culture as (sorry darlings) just not up to the mark.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Top 20 films that make you feel good
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
19 British bands signed to indie labels are getting government grants to help them make it big abroad
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts