The National Book Awards announced Wednesday night honored both longtime writers and new authors, from Louise Erdrich for her novel The Round House, to Katherine Boo for her debut nonfiction work, Beyond the Beautiful Forevers.
Erdrich's novel is laced with emotional nuance, and demonstrates in painful detail the legal and cultural obstacles to prosecuting rapists on a North Dakota reservation. Katherine Boo's acclaimed Behind the Beautiful Forevers – about life in a slum in Mumbai, India — won the nonfiction award.
In his new book, Oliver Burkeman shuns motivational seminars and the power of positive thinking in favor of uncertainty, insecurity and even pessimism. "Trying to let [negative] feelings be and not always struggling to stamp them out is a more fruitful alternative," he says.
Irish writer Colm Toibin's novella recounts familiar stories of the New Testament, as seen through the eyes of Jesus' mother. But this isn't the iconic blushing virgin you're used to seeing. Toibin's Mary is modeled after the fierce heroines of Greek tragedies — and she is filled with anger.
The feud began in 1997 in the letters pages of the Guardian, withRushdie calling the author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy "a pompous ass" and Le Carre accusing the author of TheSatanic Verses of "self-canonization." Both writers now say they regret the literary war of words, and speak of their mutual admiration.
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