Shine or Chime . . . why awards just so aren’t worth it

Lauren Myracle, an author of young-adult literature, was named to the shortlist last Wednesday for “Shine,” a novel about the experience of a gay teenager who is the victim of a hate crime. Shortly afterward the National Book Foundation corrected itself, saying that Ms. Myracle’s book was not meant to be a finalist but that it would stay on the five-book shortlist anyway. The foundation then added a sixth book, “Chime,” by Franny Billingsley, originally intended to be a finalist. It’s probably pretty obvious what Chime is about from the cover. Very . . . uncontroversial.

Shortly after the NBF said Shine was a mistake, and would be allowed to stay on the list, they turned around again and asked the author of Shine to withdraw her book from contention. Apparently they didn’t feel they had the authority to pull her name.  That’s just lame. If Shine wasn’t worthy of winning, it wouldn’t have won, despite being on the list. However,  it does seem by shortlisting a book and then “de-shortlisting” it, the National Book Foundation does the reputation of Shine some damage.


Published in: on October 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM  Leave a Comment  
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