Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

Literary Prizes

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message 1: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 1949 comments Mod
The awarding of the Nobel Prize for literature today has me thinking about how seldom we see literary awards, particularly in fiction, going to African American authors these days. Other writers of color, if I'm not mistaken, have become a little more likely to win - Junot Diaz, for example. Are there any writers of literary fiction that you think have been unjustly overlooked in the past few years?

message 2: by jo (new)

jo | 938 comments nationwide, i think you are right, wil. i think of sherman alexie, who won the national book award with the absolutely true diary of a part-time indian, and kiran desai, who won the national book critics circle award with the inheritance of loss, but yes, there seems to be more awareness of the writing of people of color at a worldwide level than within the US.

big effing surprise!

message 3: by William (new)

William (be2lieve) | 766 comments Mod
Come now people...if you been following the bru ha ha from the Nobel literary prize for fiction awards this year you will recognize that AA authors are also suffering the effects of a xenophobic outlook fostered by 8 years of (but not initiated by) g.w.b. America is too insulated. writes only about its own, won't translate the rest of the world, according to the committee (which to me is truly amazing because it seems like at least 50 percent of the books I read are by rest of the world, ROW authors)the last prize given to an American was 1993 to Toni Morrison for ??? So in other words AA works are overlooked at home because they are of African descent and at the Nobels because they are American!
We could start our own Goodreads awards though..anybody want to pony up the 1.4 mill to rival the Nobels?
As far as authors who deserve prizes but haven't received one..I'll leave that to those who declare themselves qualified to judge..There are too many for me to judge...O. Butler posthumously?
PS. This years Nobel went to a Frenchman born in Africa, raised in South Am, and living in the U.S.

message 4: by Qiana (last edited Oct 12, 2008 04:54AM) (new)

Qiana | 189 comments "overlooked at home because they are of African descent and at the Nobels because they are American!"

LOL, that's a great line. And so true. I heard a segment on NPR about this whole controversy and I was intrigued by the fact that many of the criticisms leveled at American writers - too insulated, for example - have often been unfairly associated with black literary communities since the 19th century. I think the unwillingness to acknowledge that the particular can also have universal appeal is a limitation of the reader, not necessarily the writer.

My Goodreads award would go to Samuel R. Delany. He's one a lot of awards within the sf genre, but his work really explodes all classifications (in a good way) and is worthy of more recognition.

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (other topics)
The Inheritance of Loss (other topics)
Beloved (other topics)