2016-17 Literary Awards

It's the beginning of the award season, starting with the venerable Nobel Prize in early October. We track the winners of some of these awards as they are revealed.

The last time the Nobel Committee awarded the Literature prize to an American was to Toni Morrison in 1983. In the 33 years since, this "greatest" literature prize ruthlessly snob America's allegedly insular literary landscape. Could this finally be America's year despite Nobel's Eurocentric bias? Honestly, there's no reliable way to tell, but I imagine the committee cannot ignore the literary contribution from one of the world's largest publishing market much longer. If the prize does go to an American writer, my bet would be Philip Roth, John Ashbery, Marilynne Robinson, or Louise Erdrich.

Roth is perhaps the best living American writer but the fact that he is now retired might work against him. Ashbery is probably the most esteemed American poet whose influence is wide-reaching, and the fact that he is still publishing helps. His age - 89 this year - may work for or against him (the oldest Literature Laureate was Doris Lessing at 88). Robinson is an outsider for her polished prose and religious multiculturalism in the novels, but with only four in total, the paucity of production may work against her. Erdrich is another outsider for her representative role in the Native American Renaissance movement that may appeal to the Nobel Committee.

The Nobel Committee has other idea: Bob Dylan.

Winner: 13 October 2016
Bob Dylan

Judges: Jon Day, Amanda Foreman, Abduleazak Gurnah, David Harsent, Olivia Williams
Winner: 25 October 2016
Finalists: 13 September 2016
Longlist: 27 July 2016
·      Paul Beatty (US), The Sellout (Oneworld / Farrar, Straus Giroux)
·      J.M. Coetzee (South African-Australian), The Schooldays of Jesus (Harvill Secker)
·      A.L. Kennedy (UK), Serious Sweet (Jonathan Cape)
·      Deborah Levy (UK), Hot Milk (Hamish Hamilton)
·      Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK), His Bloody Project (Contraband)
·      Ian McGuire (UK), The North Water (Scribner UK)
·      David Means (US), Hystopia (Faber & Faber)
·      Wyl Menmuir (UK), The Many (Salt)
·      Ottessa Moshfegh (US), Eileen (Jonathan Cape / Penguin Press)
·      Virginia Reeves (US), Work Like Any Other (Scribner UK)
·      Elizabeth Strout (US), My Name Is Lucy Barton (Viking)
·      David Szalay (Canada-UK), All That Man Is (Jonathan Cape / Penguin Random House Canada)
·      Madeleine Thien (Canada), Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books / Penguin Random House Canada)

Judges: James English, Karen Joy Fowler, T. Geronimo Johnson, Julie Otsuka, Jesmyn Ward
Winner: 16 November 2016
Finalists: 06 October 2016
Longlist: 19 September 2016
·      Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special (W. W. Norton)
·      Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
·      Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown)
·      Paulette Jiles, News of the World (William Morrows)
·      Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs (Viking Books)
·      Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen (Penguin Press)
·      Lydia Millet, Sweet Lamb of Heaven (W. W. Norton & Company)
·      Brad Watson, Miss Jane (W. W. Norton & Company)
·      Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn (Amistad)

Winner: 16 March 2017
Finalists: 17 January 2017
  • Michael Chabon, Moonglow (Harper)
  • Louise Erdrich, LaRosa (Harper)
  • Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown)
  • Ann Patchett, Commonwealth (Harper)
  • Zadie Smith, Swing Time (Penguin Press)
Winner: 10 April 2017
Finalists: 10 April 2017