Congratulations are due to Louise Erdrich, Katherine Boo and David Ferry—not for winning this year’s National Book Award in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, respectively, though that achievement is far from slight—but rather because they all contribute to The New Yorker! Way to go, guys! For writers, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Yes, to the lay observer, The New Yorker’s post about the award-winning trio could look like an opportunistic click-bait humblebrag, mentioning as it does that Erdrich, Boo and Berry all write for The New Yorker, then linking to some of their work, much of it behind a paywall. It even mentions, further down, that “Many of the other National Book Award finalists have also appeared in The New Yorker,” linking to yet more recycled yet heavily guarded content.
Really, though, I think The New Yorker was putting the National Book Award in its place by reminding us what the real highest honor in publishing is: getting your name into a glossy packet of diaereses and Madison Avenue art direction. Why should we trust some other literary committee when this one already did the judging? They ran their first Berry poem in 1953, for god’s sake! Everyone else, do try to keep up.
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