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Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage (Wayne State University Press)
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin (Random House)
Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (W. W. Norton & Co.)
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite (Alfred A. Knopf)
Marcel Theroux, Far North (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
I picked wrong on the Booker Prize, but that has not dissuaded me from trying my luck again. Far North is The Road-style-postapocalypse-via-global-warming that if it wins might be taken as the literary equivalent of Obama’s Nobel award thus I shant pick it. Let the World Spin might be seen as having its merits exhausted by the documentary Man on a Wire. American Salvage and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders are collections of stories, the former might be too Americentric, but the later has potential depicting the harsh life in Pakistan but with humor. Finally Lark and Termite is a “wonderful coming-of-age tale of grief and survival”. I would think that Far North has to be the odds on favorite to win, and though Lark and Termite will probably turn into an Oscar nominated movie, I’ve got In Other Rooms, Other Wonders winning.
Rae Armantrout, Versed (Wesleyan University Press)
Ann Lauterbach, Or to Begin Again (Viking Penguin)
Carl Phillips, Speak Low (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Keith Waldrop, Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy (University of California Press)
You’ve got to think that Phillips is the favorite, plus he seems to have the nicest covers in the business. Armantrout is an interesting choice as is Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, both interesting, and Waldrop is here because we’re all so desperate for an epic to separate itself. While any of the later three would be a small surprise I can’t see Lauterbach winning this and have to say that Carl Phillips will get the award.
The awards will be announced Nov. 18th