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Columnist Awards the Noble (Not Nobel) Prize for Sixth Year
Columnist and Author
Takes on the Nobel Prize Committee
Praised or maligned, the Nobel Prize for Literature is always news. It selects the best from the world and therefore misses much of value. Carolyn Howard-Johnson, “Back to Literature” columnist for MyShelf.com, closes the gap (only slightly) with her an annual “Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature.”
Over the last years the Nobel committee has recognized authors for their literary expertise but there has also been a trend toward awarding the prize for, as Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Tim Rutten says, “an author’s particular relevance to the moral moment in which the world finds itself.”
Howard-Johnson’s prize therefore concentrates on books that address these same issues. For her Noble Prize (as opposed to the NOBEL prize), Howard-Johnson considers books written in English (which narrows the field of prospects considerably) because writers who write in English have been rather neglected over the years and because that is the language in which she . . . ahem, reads well enough..
Howard-Johnson’s lists have included well-known authors who explore discrimination in their writing like Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison but she tries to concentrate on authors who have not been posted to bestseller lists or won major awards. Some past winners are poet Lloyd King and LA's Leora G. Krygier, Randall Sylvis and Suzanne Lummis.
The winners for 2007 just announced in January's issue of Myshelf are: Los Angeles writer and UCLA instructor Christopher Meeks, Ken Kreckel, Magadalena Ball, Rolf Gompertz, Joyce Faulkner and Pat McGrath Avery, Christine Alexanians, Sona Ovasapyan, Alison Bechdel, Diane Ackerman, Joshua Ferris, Lionel Shriver, Karla Brundage, John F. Nienstedt and Yvonne Perry.
Howard Johnson, sponsor of the Noble, is no stranger to literary prizes. Her first, This is the Place, won Sime-Gen's Reviewers’ Choice Award after it was published in 2001 and went on to win 7 other awards. A chapter from the book was a finalist in the Masters’ Literary Award and another was selected for inclusion in The Copperfield Review. Her book of creative nonfiction, Harkening, has won three awards, her Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't is an Irwin Award winner and that book and her The Frugal Editor were both named USA Book News' Best Professional Book in their years of publiciation. Her book of poetry, Tracings, was named "Top 10 Reads for 2004" by The Compulsive Reader and awarded for excellence by the Military Writers' Society of America. She is also an instructor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers' Program.
Learn more about Howard-Johnson at http://www.authorsden.com/carolynhowardjohnson.
Her "Back to Literature" column that features winners may be found at http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm . Past columns with winners are archived.
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