Saturday, March 03, 2007
Best Young American Novelists
I finally get to reveal news I've been sitting on for a few months: I've been chosen for GRANTA's 2007 Best Young American Novelists list. I first heard in November, when Ian Jack called to let me know the news; I then spent a month and a half working on a piece for the forthcoming issue in support of the list, due out at the end of April. The story is called "That First Time," and is, I'd say, similar in tone to the ones in WE'RE IN TROUBLE.
I still don't know what to say about this. I'm honored, I'm humbled (especially given my fellow listmates; see below), and still more or less in disbelief. Ten years ago I used the last list to guide my reading tastes, and now to find myself on the other side of the page is . . .
Here, I'll tell you what it's like to be on GRANTA's Best Young American Novelists list: you spend a long time fussing around with your blog posts, knowing you're supposed to be terrific at self-expression, before finally shrugging and copping out with an ellipsis.
Normally at this point I'd start spewing thanks, but since Ian Jack took me to task for just that behavior in a recent GRANTA introduction, I'll have to sit tight and communicate it telepathically.
(Fingers pressed to temples, staring furiously at the horizon and beyond, toward London; Ian Jack stirs in his sleep and mutters, 'That grateful bastard,' before resuming his fitful slumber.)
To the rest of the presumably less-thanks-averse judges--A.M. Homes, Meghan O'Rourke, Edmund White, Paul Yamazaki, and Sigrid Rausing: I am deeply, deeply grateful.
So what's next? Some tour dates, possibly, depending on many factors. I'll post any appearances the moment I know them.
I do want to congratulate my listmates before I sign off. Here, as promised, is the lineup:
Jonathan Safran Foer
I wish I could say I've already voraciously consumed every book by every author on that list, but I haven't. Seems this one's going to guide me just as the last one did.
Lastly: A quick shout-out to Anthony Doerr--I found out the full list when everyone else did, but I'm proud to say I guessed Tony's place here pretty easily. He is a fine writer and a gentleman. He is the Artist Formerly Known as Snowflake. Go read him; go read them (us!) all.
Now I'd better go write something.