February 03, 2006

Random

Okay, I know this isn't regarding writing, per se, but Wikipedia as organic online encyclopedic phenomenon is so useful to my life for getting random (and possibly inaccurate, but I do triple check my sources) and unimportant errata to jumpstart my brain that I had to share this tidbit. NPR reports that Wikipedia has started having to block access to their site from computers from Capitol Hill... because it's not enough that politicians lie to your face. Their aides like to change the encyclopedia to reflect their version of reality, too. Whoo.

Meanwhile, the Newbery was another surprise for some, including Secret Agent Man, because few people expected the winning novel, Criss Cross to succeed. The Newbery Medal is administered by the American Library Association, and in awarding the prize to Lynne Rae Perkins, award committee chair Barbara Barstow praised Criss Cross as "an orderly, innovative, and risk-taking book in which nothing happens and everything happens." This sounds much like this year's National Book Award for Young People's winning novel, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, in which much of the book is spent in what I've heard described as a 'Little Women type of quaint nostalgia,' though Publishers Weekly was actually kind, using the word 'charming' quite a bit. Criss Cross is set in the 60's...

I find myself wondering if judges these days have succumbed to nostalgia as well. We're told at Conferences that editors aren't looking for 'quiet books;' Gossip Girls and The A- List (not to mention the others like Rainbow Party, LBD, etc.) are being push marketed with the pastel Chick Lit covers, but the awards are going to stories from the past that are long on charm and short on chaos. What gives? Editors, the public and the awards people are never on the same page.

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

I totally agree! It seems VERY difficult to pinpoint any particular market, or editor, or anything, let alone write what you WANT to write, in today's publishing world. What's a writer to do??