During the past two months a number of major, national book award programs have announced their 2008 winners. Check out these stellar titles for yourself or as potential gifts for others.
The Man Booker Prize: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Video: watch an interview with Adiga
"The White Tiger is decribed as a compelling, angry and darkly humorous' novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to entrepreneurial success. It was described by one reviewer as an ‘unadorned portrait' of India seen ‘from the bottom of the heap'" (from the award announcement).
The National Book Award for Fiction: Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
Video: watch Matthiessen's acceptance speech
"Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son" (from the publisher).
The Nobel Prize in Literature: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, author of Onitsha
Video: Watch Le Clezio reading a passage from the book
Le Clezio is an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization" (from the awards site).
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
"Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss" (from the publisher).