Photo Credit: NY Magazine. Clockwise from top left: Alexandra Kleeman as Bram Stoker’s Mina, Naomi Jackson as Annie John, Emily St. John Mandel as James Bond, Hanya Yanigahara as Tom Ripley, Angela Flournoy as Sula Peace.
Happy National Book Awards! Everyone looked great on the “red carpet,” but it’s also important at this juncture to pause and appreciate the ways that some of our favorite writers–and a couple of NBA finalists–re-imagined fictional characters in this New York Magazine spread. Quite a few of us on staff were rooting for Hanya Yanigahara’s A Little Life and Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House to take first place in the fiction category. Adam Johnson took the prize with his collection of short stories, Fortune Smiles, another staff pick.
And big kudos to Robin Coste Lewis, author of Voyage of the Sable Venus, winner in the Poetry category, Ta-nehisi Coates for taking home the non-fiction prize for Between the World and Me, and Neal Shusterman, for winning the medal for young people’s literature with his novel, Challenger Deep. Listen to their acceptance speeches here.
Victors, Short-listers, Long-listers, Writers all, Winners all, we salute you!
In the year 2016, look for events on our May calendar with Emily St. John Mandel and Angela Flournoy. Station Eleven, Mandel’s Midwest dystopia, and The Turner House, Flournoy’s debut about a family of 13 children in Detroit, are both staff favorites –we love handselling these books at the store. Angela Flournoy will be in conversation with fiction writer Brit Bennett.* Read Flournoy’s National Book Award Finalist interview here, and stay tuned to our Events Calendar for all the Literati goodness in 2016.
*Ok, this is going to be a long and valuable footnote, because Brit Bennett is no small potato, and certainly due for all the prizes. Brit’s debut novel, The Mothers, is gracing our world very soon. She’s a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at University of Michigan, and a few of us booksellers have been lucky enough to share a workshop with her brilliant words. Behold, and be dazzled by her New Yorker piece on 2015 National Book Award winner Ta-Nahesi Coates’s book Between The World and Me. And here’s Brit’s stunning essay “Who Gets to Go to the Pool?” in The New York Times.