Monday, March 17, 2014

Metaphysical Dog, and other winners...

The National Book Critics Circle have announced theirs prize winners for 2014:

Poetry Dog
(M) by Frank Bidart

"Reading Frank Bidart can be a mystical, sensual, over the top, daunting experience. It can also be both ecstasy and exorcism. His poetry continually surprises and delights with its ever-changing structure, form and prosody." NBCC

First book - The John Leonard Prize
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
(M) by Anthony Marra“A flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles....Here, in fresh, graceful prose, is a profound story that dares to be as tender as it is ghastly, a story about desperate lives in a remote land that will quickly seem impossibly close and important....I haven’t been so overwhelmed by a novel in years. At the risk of raising your expectations too high, I have to say you simply must read this book.”  - Ron Charles, Washington Post

Farewell, Fred Voodoo : a letter from Haiti
(M) by Amy Wilentz,%20fred%20voodoo%22"In her gritty, surprising memoir, Wilentz enlarges her reader’s understanding and discomfort. She insists on sampling the force of Haitian history and its place in global economics, on stopping to smell the predatory journalism and an engorged, counterproductive international aid scene. This is a rare, rigorous memoir with a bibliography and index, and its author’s sharp observational experience from living in Haiti for two years and reporting there for 20, writing for the New Yorker and the Nation magazines." - NBCC

Jonathan Swift: his life and his world
(M) by Leo Damrosch

"Damrosch’s tolerance for mystery is one of the outstanding features of his spellbinding biography. Where others have filled the gaps with unsupported suppositions, Damrosch consistently surveys the available evidence and recognizes its limitations." - NCCC

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"With Americanah, which is at once a love story, an immigrant’s tale, and a socially acute snapshot of this chaotic moment in time, she nails the idiosyncracies of three cultures. We knew Adichie was wicked smart. Now we know she can be wicked funny." - NCCC

Five days at Memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital
(M) by Sheri Fink"What Sheri Fink has delivered is a big book, not a rant, but one that is a page-turner, a book bursting with stories that defy a single narrative. This is a book about big questions. It’s about what happens when exhausted and stressed doctors and nurses are forced to practice triage, when medical resources don’t exist, and when surviving may not be living." - NCCC

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