Publishers Weekly reports that Al Roker, about as literary a man as Keanu Reeves, revealed the Quills nominees on NBC’s Weekend Today show. Aside from the troubling notion that nobody in the Today office has bothered to read any of these titles (least of all Roker), I’m wondering just what point this particular awards ceremony serves. The winners are “feted at a gala event on October 10.” But with voting open to anyone, this is nothing less than the People’s Choice Awards of literature — a waste of everybody’s time, a way to give Joan Didion yet another award, and a method to ensure that books are business as usual. You may as well throw Doctorow and Mitchell into an open pit and have them punch each other for the title.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.