The National Book Award ceremony is tonight, and if you didn’t score tickets to this year’s revamped, glammed-up awards dinner in New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, where you can rub elbows with Gen X darling actress/author Molly Ringwald and McSweeney’s founder (and fiction nominee) Dave Eggers, the event will be live-streamed. The action starts at 9 p.m. when the award presentations begin, starting with Young People’s Literature, then moving to poetry, nonfiction and fiction.
Last year, Kentucky poet Nikky Finney’s powerful acceptance speech for her poetry collection “Head Off & Split” lit up social media channels, drawing wider attention to what has of late been seen as a routine industry event.
The NBAs might not have the glamor cachet of the Oscars (yet), but this year’s fiction nominees are an intriguing and crowd-pleasing lot, from Junot Diaz’s “This Is How You Lose Her” and Eggers’ “A Hologram for the King” to two Iraq War novels, Ben Fountain’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and Kevin Powers’ “The Yellow Birds.”
Galleycat has published a handy round-up of nominees with links to excerpts from their books.