Booking a Room with a View

Join me as I shuttle and shoulder through the worlds of literature, cinema, and the awards seasons attending both.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've been M.I.A. for some little time now, having grown disenchanted with the notion of blogging (and pulling the plug on what had been my principal blog) in the face of so manic a life as mine (teaching, grading papers, working retail, church commitments, two book clubs, diligent dieting). (Indeed, I couldn't remember whether I'd pulled the plug on this one too!) So, then, what has happened in the world of the Booker Prize of late -- and what have the thoughts of this commentator been?

As we all know, Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question walked off with the 2010 Booker Prize, a week after Ladbrokes betting had been suspended on winner predictions (thanks to a suspicious rash of wagers on Tom McCarthy's apparently divisive novel C) and a day before we found out that Jacobson's novel edged out Carey's Parrot and Olivier in America with a 3-2 vote in the final judging. This, of course, pained me no end, given my proselytizing admiration of Carey's fiction and that a 3-2 vote in his favor would've made him the one and only three-time winner of the Booker Prize. (Consolation for Carey came in his having been named a 2010 finalist for the National Book Award the day after he lost to Jacobson.) But I felt the need to thank someone -- anyone -- involved in bringing him mere inches from making literary history, and so I tracked down an e-mail address for Andrew Motion (former Poet Laureate of England and chair of the judging panel) and did just that. (His response was brief and gracious -- and glowing with praise for Carey's work.)

As for my own reading: look for a review of Keneally's Schindler's List in the coming week.

Glad to be back.

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