Literary Prizes Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

John W. Sahn (essay date 18 December 1987)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sahn, John W. “What Are Book Awards For?” Publishers Weekly 232, no. 25 (December 18, 1987): 9.

[In the following essay, Sahn comments on the characteristics and purpose of book awards in general, and on the National Book Awards in particular.]

The recent surprise win of the National Book Award for Fiction by Larry Heinemann, author of Paco's Story, has made us think once more about the whole philosophy and purpose of book awards. The flurry of astonishment caused by Heinemann's win, in the face of such contenders as Toni Morrison and Philip Roth, was perhaps understandable, but hardly flattering to Heinemann, whose book was a remarkably eloquent...

(The entire section is 884 words.)

Marc Aronson (essay date May 2001)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Aronson, Marc. “Slippery Slopes and Proliferating Prizes.” The Horn Book Magazine 77, no. 3 (May 2001): 271.

[In the following essay, Aronson comments on the many prizes for children's literature now available, notes several problems with their criteria and administration, and suggests some ways to improve them.]

I'm sure that nearly every reader of this magazine is in favor of supporting a more diverse children's literature that is in tune with the increasingly multi-ethnic environment in which we and our children live. I am equally convinced, though, that [American Library Association, hereafter ALA] ALA's sponsorship of three awards in which a book's...

(The entire section is 2899 words.)