While I slept the National Book Critics Circle announced its finalists for 2017. The NBCC hands out awards in 7 categories, but I’ll only be focusing on the best novel.
This year’s nominees are
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Knopf)
Improvement by Joan Silber(Counterpoint)
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)
I couldn’t be any less surprised seeing Sing, Unburied, Sing on the shortlist. That’s not to diss the novel because it deserves all the plaudits but I’d be stunned if it doesn’t win this year’s award. It’s certainly my favourite book on the short list,
I was tossing up whether I would read the McDermott and the Silber. I do have them on my To Be Read pile, but then I have novels on that pile which date back to the 90s so that means nothing. That they’re both short, though, has convinced me to read them. Expect to see reviews in the coming weeks.
Congratulations to the nominees and while I’m here a massive Mazel Tov and shout out to Carmen Maria Machado for winning the John Leonard Prize for best debut in any genre. Her Body and Other Parties has taken the world by storm.