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Old 08-01-2018, 12:43 AM   #1
sun surfer
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Award Winners • August 2018

Help select what we'll read next!


The topic is Award Winners

We've never done one quite like this. It can be any award so long as it's literary. This allows for a variety of nominations including international translations and covers a long period of time including some public domain options.


Detailed nominating and voting guidelines can be found here. Basically, nominations are open for four days and each person may nominate up to three literary selections which will go automatically to the vote. Voting then opens for four days and each person votes by post, receives a number of votes equal to the number of nominations minus one and may give each nomination up to two votes. Any questions, feel free to ask.

We hope that you will read the selection with us and join in the discussion.

*

Nominations are complete. Voting is now open! Results through post #21-

  • City by Clifford D. Simak, International Fantasy Award for Fiction
    Post . Goodreads . 251 Pages . Votes 6 . 1952 . U.S.

  • Spies by Michael Frayn, Costa/Whitbread Novel of the Year
    Post . Goodreads . 240 Pages . Votes 2 . 2002 . England

  • Careful He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott, Miles Franklin Literary Award
    Post . Goodreads . 304 Pages . Votes 1 . 1963 . Australia

  • The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq, International Dublin Literary Award
    Post . Goodreads . 328 Pages . Votes 0 . 2002 . France

  • The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi, Noma Literary Prize
    Post . Goodreads . 208 Pages . Votes 2 . 1957 . Japan

  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Strega Prize
    Post . Goodreads . 294 Pages . Votes 1 . 1958 . Italy

  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature
    Post . Goodreads . 258 Pages . Votes 3 . 2003 . Norway

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Old 08-01-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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This should throw up some interesting results considering the wide spectrum offered.

I’ll begin with City by Clifford D. Simak which won the International Fantasy Award In 1952. It is this version I am nominating. Simak twenty years later added a short coda to the eight stories in the award-winning book. Personally, I feel the coda adds nothing to the marvellous originality of the basic book but it really wouldn’t matter which you read.

Amazon Review
“On a far future Earth, mankind's achievements are immense: artificially intelligent robots, genetically uplifted animals, interplanetary travel, genetic modification of the human form itself.

“But nothing comes without a cost. Humanity is tired, its vigour all but gone. Society is breaking down into smaller communities, dispersing into the countryside and abandoning the great cities of the world.

“As the human race dwindles and declines, which of its great creations will inherit the Earth? And which will claim the stars?”

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Old 08-01-2018, 03:25 PM   #3
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Interesting nomination, fantasyfan!

My first nomination is Spies by Michael Frayn. It won the Costa/Whitbread award for Novel of the Year in 2002. I've been interested in it for a long time, but I also just noticed when getting the info for this post that a previous participant in the lit club, HomeInMyShoes, rated it a perfect 5 stars. It's 240 pages and if you're buying, for a newer book the current Kindle prices aren't too bad ($8 US, £4 UK, $9 Canada). Goodreads

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In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live the only immediate signs of the Second World War are the blackout at night and a single random bombsite. But the two boys start to suspect all is not as it seems when one day Keith announces a disconcerting discovery: the Germans have infiltrated his own family. And when the secret underground world they have dreamed up emerges from the shadows they find themselves engulfed in mysteries far deeper and more painful than they had bargained for.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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You might notice the Placeholder in the first post. I'm playing around with leaving it there from now on and also maybe looking for a way to make it less visible without spoiler tags in case I do start leaving it in the first posts. I put it there because it's just easier to take it from there than somewhere else, especially if I'm updating many times.

Now, for my second nomination I put forth Careful He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott. I think it looks a little different than the norm for us and it's an Australian classic. It won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1963 and is based on the author's own experience as a child. It's 304 pages. Goodreads

Quote:
It’s the Great Depression. Six-year-old PS is an orphan. He lives in Sydney with his Aunt Lila. But all that is about to change. Now his Aunt Vanessa has decided to take proper care of him. Careful, He Might Hear You is one of the most extraordinary portraits of childhood in Australian fiction.
ETA - While it's quite different from both, it has echoes of our previous selections What Maisie Knew and Delta Wedding and could be interesting to contrast.

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Old 08-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #5
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I thought something foreign-language would be good for my final nomination so I'm going with The Elementary Particles (Also known as Atomised) by Michel Houellebecq, which also happens to be from 2002. This sounds a little different from the types of selections we often read and also, though the French language has a huge literary tradition we haven't had many originally French-language selections. This won the International Dublin Literary Award which selects one winner per year from any book written in or translated into English, and though it's only been going since 1996 and so only has 23 winners so far, we've already read two books that have won this award- Remembering Babylon and The Master. The book is 328 pages. Goodreads

Quote:
The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that leaps headlong into the malaise of contemporary existence.

Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.

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Old 08-04-2018, 02:23 PM   #6
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A little less than half a day left for nominations.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:07 PM   #7
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I'd like to nominate Fumiko Enchi's The Waiting Years. It won the Noma Literary Prize (Japan) in 1957. From the description:

Quote:
The novel is set in the Meiji period and analyzes the plight of women who have no alternative but to accept the demeaning role assigned to them in the patriarchal social order. The protagonist is the wife of a government official, who is humiliated when her husband not only takes concubines, but has them live under the same roof as both maids and as secondary wives.
The novel is slim, and is a fascinating look at post-war Japan from a woman who lived through it. You won't find sunshine and rainbows here, but a gritty (and satisfying) tale.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:02 PM   #8
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Interesting nominations so far! I am pleased that they met my intention to highlight a variety of awards and countries.

My first nomination is The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. It was the winner of the 1959 Strega Prize (Premio Strega), which is Italy's most prestigious literary award. The history of the prize is interesting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strega_Prize

From Goodreads:
Quote:
The Leopard is a story of a decadent and dying aristocracy threatened by the forces of revolution and democracy. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860s, it focuses on Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters: a Bourbon king, liberals and pseudo liberals, peasants and millionaires.
From Amazon because I like this quote by E.M. Forster:
Quote:
The Leopard is set in Sicily in 1860, as Italian unification is coming violently into being, but it transcends the historical-novel classification. E.M. Forster called it, instead, "a novel which happens to take place in history." Lampedusa's Sicily is a land where each social gesture is freighted with nuance, threat, and nostalgia, and his skeptical protagonist, Don Fabrizio, is uniquely placed to witness all and alter absolutely nothing. Like his creator, the prince is an aristocrat and an astronomer, a man "watching the ruin of his own class and his own inheritance without ever making, still less wanting to make, any move toward saving it." Far better to take refuge in the night skies.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:48 PM   #9
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My next nomination is Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, which won two top literary prizes in Norway, The Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature (2003) and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award (2003). It was also awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2006), Prix Littéraire Européen - Madeleine Zepter (2006) and International Dublin Literary Award (2007).

I thought his background was interesting:
Quote:
Petterson knew from the age of 18 that he wanted to be a writer, but didn't embark on this career for many years - his debut book, the short story collection Aske i munnen, sand i skoa, (Ashes in the Mouth, Sand in the Shoes) was published 17 years later, when Petterson was 35. Previously he had worked for years in a factory as an unskilled labourer, as his parents had done before him, and had also trained as a librarian, and worked as a bookseller. In 1990, the year following the publication of his first novel, Pettersen's family was struck by tragedy - his mother, father, brother and nephew were killed in a fire onboard a ferry.
From Publishers Weekly:
Quote:
Award-winning Norwegian novelist Petterson renders the meditations of Trond Sander, a man nearing 70, dwelling in self-imposed exile at the eastern edge of Norway in a primitive cabin. Trond's peaceful existence is interrupted by a meeting with his only neighbor, who seems familiar. The meeting pries loose a memory from a summer day in 1948 when Trond's friend Jon suggests they go out and steal horses. That distant summer is transformative for Trond as he reflects on the fragility of life while discovering secrets about his father's wartime activities. The past also looms in the present: Trond realizes that his neighbor, Lars, is Jon's younger brother, who "pulls aside the fifty years with a lightness that seems almost indecent." Trond becomes immersed in his memory, recalling that summer that shaped the course of his life while, in the present, Trond and Lars prepare for the winter, allowing Petterson to dabble in parallels both bold and subtle. Petterson coaxes out of Trond's reticent, deliberate narration a story as vast as the Norwegian tundra.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:05 PM   #10
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Looking at the countries on the nominations list, we just need one from Germany to round out an Allied versus Axis accidental motif.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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Did you miss my second nomination? I might have posted it about the same time that you were updating the list.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Did you miss my second nomination? I might have posted it about the same time that you were updating the list.
Yes, I did! That's exactly what happened I think- it took me a second to update the list and then I posted without thinking to refresh the page to make sure there hadn't been any other posts in the interim.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:52 AM   #13
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Nominations are closed and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has SIX votes to use.

Call me psychic, but I predict a book from either the second half of mid-20th century or just after the turn of the millennium will win.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:47 AM   #14
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How odd! I wasn’t paying attention to publication year when I picked my nominations. I am surprised the dates weren’t more varied.
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:17 PM   #15
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It’s a happy coincidence, since all the nominations are tempting.

It’s hard for me to choose which to vote for, so I’ll begin by voting for one from each nominator:

1 vote for City
1 vote for Spies
1 vote for The Waiting Years
1 vote for Out Stealing Horses
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