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Archive May 2009

A little over a year after being named executive director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Ken Chen can add another impressive line to his resumé. Yale University Press on Wednesday announced that he is winner of this year's Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize.

Before we get to Gerald Howard's well-deserved honor, one thing needs to be said at the outset: If you haven't read Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, A. Scott Berg's 1978 biography of the quintessential, old-school book editor who worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Ernest Hemingway at Scribner's, go find a used hardcover somewhere—or pick up the recently reissued paperback. It's a great and—in hindsight, in some ways—sad book: They don't make editors like Maxwell Perkins anymore. Or maybe they do and they just work in an industry that hardly resembles the one depicted in Berg's biography.

Amazon and Penguin today named James King winner of the second annual Breakthrough Novel Award for Bill Warrington's Last Chance. "One of the best things you can say about a novel is that the story lingers after you finish it," said Sue Monk Kidd, a member of the contest's expert panel. "I have gone on thinking about this one without trying."

Chosen from a group of fourteen finalists that included American authors Evan S. Connell, E. L. Doctorow, and Joyce Carol Oates, Canadian author Alice Munro today was named winner of the third Man Booker International Prize. "I am totally amazed and delighted," the seventy-seven-year-old fiction writer said.

The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation announced today the winners of the twenty-second-annual translation prizes for fiction and nonfiction. The awards of ten thousand dollars each were given for English translations of French prose published last year.

The University of Texas, Austin, recently announced that Sarah Bird and Diane Wilson are the winners of this year's Dobie Paisano Writing Fellowships. Both will receive a four-month stay at Paisano, a retreat west of Austin, and a monthly stipend of five thousand dollars.

This time of year you can almost feel the collective anxiety of students across the country who already have or will soon graduate and face the job market. And this year, of course, nerves are a little more frayed than usual.

"I don't want to read short fiction. I don't want to curl up with a collection of short stories. It's totally boring." Whether you agree with them or not, those words, spoken by agent Jeff Kleinman during the Agents and Editors interview published in the January/February 2009 issue, represent the views of a not-insignificant number of publishing professionals.

Dalkey Archive Press recently announced that it has chosen four young literary translators as winners of its first Applied Translation fellowship program. Rhett Warren McNeil, Ursula Meany Scott, Jamie Richards, and Kerri Pierce were chosen from more than 130 applicants from 35 countries.

Amazon announced on Friday that book editors at Penguin selected three finalists from a pool of one hundred semifinalists for the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. They are "Stuff of Legends" by Ian Gibson, "Bill Warrington's Last Chance" by James King, and "In Malice, Quite Close" by Brandi Lynn Ryder.

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