Hemon, Gibbons nominated for National Book Award
The National Book Award finalists announcements came in today, and The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon (one of our cultural heroes) stands among the fiction nominees. Hemon is up against Rachel Kushner (Telex from Cuba), Peter Matthiessen, (Shadow Country), Marilynne Robinson (Home) and Salvatore Scibona, (The End). I'm not even sure how to handicap the finalists at this point, buy my gut says that Hemon will snag it. Then again, when it comes to the NBAs, I've never once been right. Last year, I thought Junot Díaz had it in the bag, and he wasn't even a finalist.
I was also pleased to see Northwestern prof Reginald Gibbons get a nod for his poetry book, Creatures of a Day. It may be redundant to call a poet unsung, but Gibbons has done a lot for the Chicago literary scene, including founding Triquarterly Books, so I'm happy to see his name on the list.
Putting my own feet to the flame, here are my predictions for the eventual winners:
Fiction: Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project
Nonfiction: Jane Mayer, The Dark Side
I'm going to beg off on picking a poetry and young-adult victor, due to my shameful ignorance of the nominees. You can check out the full list of nominees here, and decide for yourself. Winners will be announced on November 19.