As the hour draws nigh (and as I continue to wish I were able to live-blog the NBA's), it is time to lay my cards bare for all to see. I'm nearly always wrong when it comes to literary awards, so consider yourself lucky indeed if I didn't pick your pick (or your book):
Despite the rumor-mill & regardless of the word on the street that Jim Shepard may well take the cake on this one, I am oddly torn between Joshua Ferris & Lydia Davis. I know, two entirely different books. Entirely. Yet I loved them both for equally different reasons. I also just love the idea of a first-time novelist winning the award. I dig Joshua Ferris as well, whip-smart and funny. Terribly talented. But then winning such an award so early in his career might wreck him, right? And no one wants that. So, who seems more able to withstand wrecking? Davis. For all those who cry "where's the heft" or "but it's almost like a book of poetry", suck it.
A less difficult category for me, but I've not read all the books in this case, which hardly seems a fair way for me to pick a book. Fair or not, I'll still make my prediction. While I think Rampersad's Ellison biography should win, I suspect that Hitchens will win for his God book. And I'm okay with that. I think.
Now, I love me some David Kirby (who would be mortified, I'm quite sure, to read the seven words I've just used as a lead-in mentioning his work) but I suspect Robert Hass will take it. How could he not? The man was a Poet Laureate.
Young People's Literature (must we be so coy about it? can't we just say Young Adult?) This is a tough call for me. Tough in that I've not read every book, but those I have are wildly different and as I don't write YA, I worry that I don't quite know what the hell I'm talking about here. (Do I caveat much?) My bet is on Felin's Touching Snow.
There you have it. The four books that won't win a lick of anything, if my previous prize predictions bear any weight in the proceeding. But I hope one of my picks makes it. I think. I'm still terribly torn on the Fiction category, which leaves me feeling less confident as I type. Let's leave it at that (shall we?), and see what happens tonight.
(Google Reader suck factor: posted at 8:31am PST)