Thursday, May 17, 2007

Publishing Triangle Awards and Oprah's Next Selection

The Publishing Triangle Awards have been announced. I'm not sure I've ever even noticed these awards before. I have the impression they're behind the Lambdas and the Stonewall Book Awards in prominence, but perhaps I'm wrong. And I'm not terribly impressed. Sure they gave an award to Fun Home. Big deal. Time managed to figure out how great that book is. But for their top gay male novel, they chose Christopher Bram's Exiles in America. Really? Weren't the reviews pretty bad? I'm surprised. Seems like there were lots of strong choices this year. But I have to admit I'd never even heard of finalist A Scarecrow’s Bible by Martin Hyatt. Did anyone anywhere review it beyond the gay press (a capsule review in the San Francisco Bay Times and a few sentences in the Lambda Book Report)? Pathetic. Honors from the Stonewall Book Awards, as well as a Finalist for the Publishing Triangle and the Lambdas (to be announced May 31) and it doesn't even get reviewed?

In other news, Oprah's next book will be announced soon. One online source says June 5th, elsewhere I read "late May." Intriguingly, it’s known that it’s a Picador title that will retail for $15. Galleycat guesses Kavalier and Clay (and so does a friend), but I just can't believe that. It's too old and well known and hip. I am hereby O-fficially predicting The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. It would have to be pushed up in schedule (which I imagine ain't a problem for any publisher when Oprah snaps her fingers), but if I'm right it suggests that Oprah is trying to shed an association with sentimental middlebrow women's fiction by picking celebrated and established male literary heavyweights: Cormac McCarthy and now Richard Powers. Time will tell.
Update: Mediabistro had the news even before it was announced on television: the mighty O has chosen Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I guess I get partial credit for the prediction that she would stick with highly respected literary fiction. Yes, by a male author, but far from a macho book. And the hermaphrodite character lends itself much more comfortably to Oprah's couch. (June 5, 2007)


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