More Indignity

Is it too much to call this the last straw for the “Super” Booker Prize?

In Life after ‘Nemesis’ in the Financial Times Jan Dalley profiles Philip Roth, who will (not) be picking up the Man Booker International Prize on Tuesday (he will be “celebrated” on Tuesday, but only in abstentia, as he apparently can’t be bothered to show up).

Dunno, but after pseudo-dq’ing the bulk of the competition because they weren’t written in English only to find that the one dude who did write in English doesn’t even care enough to come and be feted by you, seems that the “Super” Booker would want to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

Incidentally, I’m always aghast to see writing like this (which comes from a profile of Philip Roth in which we learn that he won’t make the trip to London):

“I’ve stopped reading fiction. I don’t read it at all. I read other things: history, biography. I don’t have the same interest in fiction that I once did.”

How so ?

“I don’t know. I wised up . . . ”

And with those three words he gave me a long look from those fierce eyes and then a significant glance at my notebook, as if to say: that’s what I want you to write down.

Are we still interviewing Philip Roth or have we somehow entered a time warp into John Wayne’s idea of the Wild West?

Recent Posts

Criticism Isn't Free

CR is dedicated to thoughtful, in-depth criticism without regard to what's commercially appealing. It takes tens of hours each month to provide this. Please help make this sort of writing sustainable, either with a subscription or a one-time donation. Thank you!

You could also purchase one of my acclaimed ebooks.

1 Comment

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I wonder, was the original indignity the commercially motivated establishment of the award, or the naming of the award as ‘Super’!

Either seems repugnant to a high-minded literary prize.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2018. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.