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'.
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