Friday, January 12, 2007

Prizes Prized?

Prompted by the Costa awards, announced this week, and by a post on the Guardian books blog by Lemn Sissay (a judge this year for the John Llewellyn Rhys Award), Jessica Ruston at the Book Bar has some perturbed thoughts about book prizes in general.

Sissay reveals the interesting fact that publishers and agents agree from the off that certain books will be entered for prizes as a way of guaranteeing press coverage for a book. Jessica wonders if this is 'tighten[ing] down the circle of books that get press coverage even further'.

My book group will be interested. They are constantly exclaiming: 'How on earth did this win a major prize?', and one of them practically threw a book across the room this week for being a 'typical Booker type book'.

3 comments:

John Baker said...

I think we know by now that we can't rely on the press. Let's hope that the blogging fraternity can do a better job.

nmj said...

Ah, Elizabeth, am happy to be able to access you again, was on holiday in UAE and your blog was blocked, I guess cos of the word 'bitch' - did you know you were censored in certain parts of the world?! Re. book prizes, I cannot count the number of big winners I've been disappointed in.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Ha! I discovered I was even censored on my own computer till I switched off the Google security thingy!

Welcome back. I loved your posts while you were away. Hope you've got over the journey