Wally Cardona, Anne Bogart among awardees of first Doris Duke grants

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced today that 21 performing artists will share $5.7 million in grants.

Each recipient gets a multiyear grant of $225,000. They’ll also receive up to $50,000 for retirement savings and audience development.

Among the awardees are dancer-choreographer Wally Cardona, who will be performing Friday and Saturday night at EMPAC at RPI in Troy; theater and opera director Anne Bogart, who founded the SITI Company, which holds its summer residency at Skidmore in Saratoga Springs; and performers who have appeared regularly in the greater Capital Region, such as jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, choreographer-dancers Eiko & Koma and choreographer Reggie Wilson.
Continue reading “Wally Cardona, Anne Bogart among awardees of first Doris Duke grants”

Skidmore’s Steven Millhauser a Story Prize finalist

The Story Prize announced today the three finalists for the annual award for books of short fiction.

The three short story collections were chosen from among a field of 92 books submitted in 2011.

The finalists are:

• The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo (Scribner)
• We Others by Steven Millhauser (Alfred A. Knopf)
• Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman (Lookout Books)

The finalists were selected by Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey  and Director Larry Dark. The judges for this year’s award will be award-winning author Sherman Alexie, Indiana University comparative literature professor Breon Mitchell and Louise Steinman, the curator of the award-winning ALOUD reading/conversation series for the Los Angeles Public Library, and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC.

Continue reading “Skidmore’s Steven Millhauser a Story Prize finalist”

Page Turner awards

Uber-best-selling mega-author James Patterson has announced the winners of his second Page Turner Awards.

The 39 winners of the 2006 James Patterson PageTurner Awards will receive cash prizes totaling $500,000. Among the winners are libraries, schools, bookstores, and innovative individuals and organizations that go to extraordinary lengths to spread the joy of books and reading across the country.

What is “Asian”?

The Complete Review links to an interesting article about the Man Asian Prize.

Here is the write-up about the prize from the organization itself:

This major new literary prize aims to recognise the best of new Asian literature and to bring it to the attention of the world literary community. A distinguished panel of judges selects a single work of fiction to be awarded the prize each year. Works submitted for consideration must not yet be published in English, although they may have been published in other languages.

The prize was initiated through Man Group plc, a leading global financial services firm based in London, and the Hong Kong Literary Festival, the premier event of its kind in Asia.

Here is the official Man Asian Literary Prize Web site.

The difficulty, of course, is that Asia is such a diverse region, including more than half the world’s population, stretching from Turkey to Japan. Complicating matters, is finding the right judges.

How far do Asians identify themselves as Asian, though? I cannot answer this question in historical or economic terms, but when it comes to literature, we have our barriers up. Even well-read Indians would find it difficult to name Korea’s greatest authors, Sri Lanka is not necessarily interested in the literature of Malaysia, Japan isn’t reading the best of Pakistani writing. And when we do read each other, we stick with authors who have been identified for us chiefly by curious Western readers in the media or in publishing. This is not such a bad thing—literature is an open community, and I don’t care who’s picking out the good stuff so long as the good stuff gets to me.

The Man Asian Literary Prize has its heart in the right place—it’s open specifically to literary fiction written in any Asian language that have not yet been published in English. This could do a lot to reverse the “Iceberg effect” that many writers suffer from—if you’re not published in English, you’re invisible to all but a small percentage of your potential readers.

But the controversy that’s grown around the 2007 Prize rests in the details. Nury Vittachi, the writer who came up with the idea behind the prize, has been effectively sidelined by Peter Goran, the prize administrator. Both men have played key roles—without Vittachi’s idea, there would have been no prize, without Goran’s flair for management, there would have been just a magnificent idea floating in mid-air. Without getting into the politics of the Prize, here’s the gist of the controversy.

Vittachi feels that an Asian prize deserves Asian judges.

The article is here.

Something odd this way comes

There are a lot of contests out there, some of them more serious than others. Here’s one that is on the nonserious side: the oddest book title.

Among the nominees this year is “How Green Were the Nazis.”

And, yes, you — dear readers — get a chance to vote. Scroll to the bottom for the link.

Here’s more from the AP:

`How Green Were the Nazis?” could be the title to beat this year for the
Bookseller/Diagram Prize for oddest book title.

The book by Thomas Zeller, Franz-Josef Bruggemeier and Mark Cioc is billed as the first to
examine the environmental policies of the Third Reich. It is published by Ohio University
Press.

Other nominees announced Friday:

“The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: a guide to field identification,” by
Julian Montague.

“Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan,” by Robert Chenciner, Gabib
Ismailov, Magomedkhan Magomedkhanov and Alex Binnie.

“Di Mascio’s Delicious Ice Cream, Di Mascio of Coventry, an Ice Cream Company of Repute,
With an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans,” by Roger De Boer, Harvey Francis
Pitcher, and Alan Wilkinson.

“Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium.”

“Better Never To Have Been: the Harm of Coming Into Existence,” by David Benatar.

The winner will be chosen by the public. You can vote online at http://www.thebookseller.com. The prize will be announced on April 13.

Last year’s winner was “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It,” by Gary Leon Hill.

Go here to vote in the poll www.thebookseller.com.