17 November 2010

That's National Book Award Winner Patti Smith to you

It's true! Smith nabbed the nonfiction prize at the American publishing fiesta held here in New York for her book JUST KIDS. During her acceptance speech she cried and reminded the audience that she worked in a bookstore when she first arrived in New York.

On the fiction shelf, Jaimy Gordon's LORDS OF MISRULE pulled a surprising upset -- so much so that to all accounts I have seen, she didn't have a speech prepared. Much congratulations also to Kathryn Erskine and Terrance Hayes for taking home the big ones in young-adult fiction and poetry, respectively.

Not to be outdone by some young punk kid, Tom Wolfe sang part of "The Girl From Ipanema" during his speech. Really. He really did that. Do they make white-on-white Hawaiian shirts these days?

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