National Book Awards: the 2011 fiction nominees
This year's nominees were not without controversy, most notably in the Young Adult category, where author Lauren Myracle was first erroneously listed as a nominee for her novel, â€śShineâ€ť and then was asked to withdraw her nomination. (At Myracle's request, the National Book Foundation made a $5,000 donation to the Mathew Shephard Foundation in exchange.) In the adult fiction category, judges chose to honor some less-publicized books over some of the bigger â€śeventâ€ť novels of the year, such as Ann Patchett's â€śState of Wonderâ€ť and Jeffrey Eugenides's â€śThe Marriage Plot.â€ť
Here's a look at the five finalists for the fiction prize.
1. 'Binocular Vision,' by Edith Pearlman
Edith Pearlman may not be a household name yet, but there's no question that she should be. Her short-story collection, â€śBinocular Vision,â€ť is among the best I've ever read. In the Monitor's February review, we noted, â€śPearlman writes with a kind of serene precision that would astonish any writer. The stories' settings range from fictional Godolphin, Mass., to Jerusalem, Latin America, and tsarist Russia, but the note-perfect word choices and resolute compassion remain.â€ť In a foreword, novelist Ann Patchett predicted that â€śBinocular Visionâ€ť would be the book that elevates Pearlman's stories alongside Alice Munro's and John Updike's. Happily, she was right.
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