Longshot!! Lord of Misrule wins National Book Award

Novel based at racetrack is longshot winner of National Book Award for Fiction

by Rachel Syme NPR

The National Book Awards are like the Oscars of literature, without the national telecast, the security guards to watch over the Harry Winston jewels or the glowing Hollywood tans (most of the nominees bear the wan, indoors-y look of the writer’s life). But, like the Academy Awards, there are fancy dresses, cummerbunds and cater waiters passing around Bellinis and caviar bites — trust us, book people can party. And, much like the Oscars, the NBAs are a particular industry’s biggest night, in which a career can be made (or at least pushed heartily along) with the opening of an envelope.

This year, that career belongs to Jaimy Gordon, a mid-career novelist from Baltimore living and teaching in Kalamazoo, Mich. Her fourth novel, Lord of Misrule, won the NBA for fiction on Wednesday evening, a victory that came as a surprise to many — including Gordon herself.

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