Richard Groveon Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Scottish novelist Ali Smith has won the 2005Whitbread Novel Award with her novel "The Accidental", it was announced yesterday. The Whitbread is a world-class literary award that goes to the best first novel, novel, poetry, biography and children's book from an author living in the UK or Ireland. The Whitbread has always been a great source for interesting and consistently good books (unlike many of the American award-winners). Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon won the Novel award in 2003 and was one of my favorite books of the last few years. Vernon God Little by D.B.C. Pierre ( a controversial winner) was another outstanding read. While Ali Smith's book will leap to the top of my "to read" list, I haven't read any of her books yet. Ms. Smith will be taking home a check for Fifty Thousand pounds sterling.
Ironically, the Whitbread prize will be looking for a new sponsor because the giant brewer Whitbread has stopped funding the award last year. I'd like to suggest that the prize committe consider other great brew makers of the world as sponsors. How about the "Dos Equis Award"? Or the "Blatz Prize"? My favorite would be the "Old Peculiar Award"
I work at a great used bookstore, the Iliad Bookshop, in North Hollywood, CA. I also write non-fiction reviews and articles for Renderosity.com, an online CGI site. And when things get too loud, I sneak out to the car with a Coke and my cat, Zola, to spend an hour or two reading.