The other NBA

The National Book Awards have listed their 2009 finalists for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young Adult categories.  There are 5 in each.  But the most overlooked is probably Nonfiction.


For some reason, it’s always stuffed with historical biography, or science.  This year is no exception.  But hidden among the tried and true is  David M. Carroll’s Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook,Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Illustrated with the author’s own exquisite pen-and-ink drawings, Following the Water is an ode to a very personal corner of nature, that Carroll has followed for years: his local wetland in New Hampshire.

In 2006 he won a MacArthur Genius award for his work as writer, artist, and naturalist. So it’s high time he won an NBA. But book awards, like Nobels, are often handed out for reasons, beyond simple merit.

A total of 3 books on Darwin, in 3 different categories, made the NBA list.  Out of thousands of submissions, the NBA picks 3 that feature Darwin?

But biased, trends, or marketing aside . . . the NBA did well to recognize Following the Water.  It’s nonfiction of the very best stripe.

Visit the HMH Page for David M Carroll, for more info on this and other fine books by Carroll

NBA awards are handed out in Nov. Good luck to all!

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

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