Thursday, November 20, 2008
And the winner is....Shadow Country
Peter Matthiessen's "Shadow Country" took home top honors at the National Book Award presentations in New York last night when his rewritten epic based on an infamous figure from turn-of-the-century Florida won the prize for fiction. It was richly deserved and I was especially happy to see that the judges agreed with my choice (see "What the heck" post below). Yep, I gave out the winner in print. First time that's happened since Unbridled won the 1990 Kentucky Derby.
If you're planning to read "Shadow Country," allow yourself some time. It weighs in at 892 pages, which nudges out James Jones' "From Here to Eternity" (860 pages) as the lengthiest winner for fiction. I'm not completely sure on this, but I also believe Matthiessen becomes the first author to win a National Book Award for fiction and non-fiction, with his "The Snow Leopard" capturing the latter in 1980.
As fortune would have it, Matthiessen appeared at the Miami Book Fair this past weekend and I was able to hear him speak and have him sign my book.
Check out this link to read more about Matthiessen and his book in this Miami Herald piece that ran Sunday: