An absolutely splendid list of fiction finalists for this year’s National Book Awards:
Mark Z. Danielewski, Only Revolutions (Pantheon)
Ken Kalfus, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Richard Powers, The Echo Maker (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Dana Spiotta, Eat the Document (Scribner/Simon & Schuster)
Jess Walter, The Zero (Judith Regan Books/HarperCollins)
I’ve read three of these books and I have to say that these three will likely end up on my Top 10 list. The nod for Dana Spiotta, in particular, is a great surprise. For those interested in learning more, Ms. Spiotta appeared on Show #28 of The Bat Segundo Show. You can find my thoughts on the book here.
Given how much I’ve talked up Spiotta, Danielewski, and Powers this past year, and given Vollmann’s win last year, I’m wondering if Return of the Reluctant had a small hand in pointing some of the judges in the right direction. And by “small hand,” I refer, of course, to the mysterious checks sent under surreptitious cover to the NBA judges.