Remember Rod McKuen

I was reminded that tomorrow is the day they expect that the Nobel Prize for Literature will be revealed. Sometimes I have a keen interest in these prizes; more often I skip the excitement. I don’t think it’s because I disagree with the selection committee (I often do) but more that I find awards ceremonies of questionable value. Hey, I don’t even follow the Academy Awards, the NFL standings, or the Jersey tomato weigh-off.

But there was an interesting twist in the presumed front-runners this year.

France is well represented by Annie Ernaux; Jamaica Kincaid and Maryse Condé are both black women writers from the Caribbean; Jon Fosse, a Norwegian, is a prolific playwright that may be too cerebral for Broadway; Dubravka Ugresic represents the often favored literature of Eastern Europe; the Somali writer, Nuruddin Farah, once again is a contender; and the United States puts it’s best and brightest forward with Stephen King.

Stephen King?

See why it’s easy for me to ignore these literary contests?

Last month I suggested a few new titles that might make interesting reading. I even read a few myself. How many have you read?

09-01-21 – Upside Down: Inverted Tropes In Storytelling — Jaym Gates
09-02-21 – A Children’s Bible — Lydia Millet
09-03-21 – The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel — William Goldbloom Bloch
09-04-21 – An Inventory of Losses — Judith Schalansky
09-05-21 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — Betty Smith
09-06-21 – The Sun Collective — Charles Baxter
09-07-21 – Dissipatio H. G. — Guido Morselli
09-08-21 – Every Day is for the Thief — Teju Cole
09-09-21 – L. A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City — John Buntin
09-10-21 – The Woman Next Door — Yewande Omotoso
09-11-21 – Not the End of the World — Christopher Brookmyre
09-12-21 – The Committed: A Novel — Viet Thanh Nguyen
09-13-21 – The Door — Magda Szabo
09-14-21 – The Last Great Road Bum Héctor Tobar — Jonathan Lethem
09-15-21 – Berta Isla — Javier Marías
09-16-21 – Ghost Town — Robert Coover
09-17-21 – Miss Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure — Ann M. Martin
09-18-21 – American Gothic Tales — Joyce Carol Oates, ed.
09-19-21 – Valentine — Brit Bennett
09-20-21 – The Glass Hotel — Emily St. John Mandel
09-21-21 – The Elements of Active Prose — Tahlia Newland
09-22-21 – Rest and Be Thankful — Emma Glass
09-23-21 – The Pornographers — Akiyuki Nozaka
09-24-21 – Just Kids From the Bronx — Arlene Alda
09-25-21 – Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession — Sarah Weinman
09-26-21 – Leave the World Behind — Rumaan Alam
09-27-21 – The End: My Struggle Book 6 — Karl Ove Knausgârd
09-28-21 – Cleanness — Garth Greenwell
09-29-21 – Madam Bovary’s Ovaries: A Darwinian Look at Literature — David P. Barash & Nanelle Rose Barash
09-30-21 – 1177 B. C., The Year Civilization Collapsed — Eric H. Cline

Note: Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah wins Nobel Prize for literature for 2021.

One thought on “Remember Rod McKuen

  1. UK literary prizes now seem to be awarded for all sorts of non-literary reasons, mainly agreement with Twitter “awoke” views. So I ignore the hype too.

    I’m ashamed to say I have only read three of the books on your list. I am currently not reading much contemporary fiction. I’ve been reading a lot of history, antiquarian and classical fiction.


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