Thursday, September 17, 2009

Man Booker Prize: A Breath of Fresh Air?

The short list for this year's Man Booker Prize has been released. Only two former winners were included. Of the nine other former winners who submitted works, one source noted they ranged "from the good to the merely average, with one downright stinker."

I'm noticing a trend here in the US as well, perhaps fueled by the popularity of new online innovations, away from publishing the so-so work of the "anointed" few (at least in shorter works. Writers of book length works, no matter how disappointing, still seem to get the royal treatment with the national book tours). Even The New Yorker has been publishing some short fiction that is downright fun to read.

Anyone want to comment as to whether this trend has spilled over into Best American? Dare I admit, as a writer/editor, that it's been a couple of years since I purchased the anthology. Lord knows I spend enough on my writing already, and I was beginning to feel a little "fleeced" by this "must-read" collection where I'd find one or two stories, at best, to be memorable along with many I'd already read and forgotten in other publications. I'm wondering, though, since NYer stories always made up such a large portion of their contents, if Best might also be reflecting this trend?

1 comment:

Angie Ledbetter said...

I do hope you're right about the return of truly memorable and entertaining work "making the cut" in the biggies.


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