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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 25, 2012 12:00am-2:00am EST

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for posterity. every time the presidents get something out of focus, all of it, quirks and all goes in archives will be available to public after the end of the obama administration. >> what about the campaign video? is private, though, right? convicted dnc kept all this to from 2008 and gave it back to the campaign would reignited. ..
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we're on the red carpet. finalist in poetry, young adult literature, nonfiction, and fiction books, and of course being booktv, we focus on the nonfiction. we want to let you know who some of the nine fiction finalist are. domingo martinez, his book is "boy kings of texas." his fourth volume on the lbj legacy, and robert caro appeared on q & a and at the national book festival in september. the late anthony shadid has been nominated. he died in syria while covering
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syria for the washington post. his wife will be here representing him, and that's nada bachary. katherine boo has been nominated, "behind the beautiful forever," about mumbai, and anne applebaum has a book out and is scheduled on our q & a show in september. so we'll be interviewing those authors as we go. we'll be watching the red carpet here as some of the authors have their picture taken. right now we want to talk to the chairman of the national book foundation, and this is david steinberger. mr. steinbergers is also head of the become group what is the
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national book airport. >> given to the best american books in four categories, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature, and you look at the people who have won this award, it's the pan of pantheons. saul bell wyoming. >> this began 63 years ago. do you know the history, why it began? >> it was group of people who were interested in making sure that great books had the greatest possible impact on the culture, and that's still our mission now. the first winner was "the man with the golden arm" which was later made into a movie by frank sip nat extra. >> there was a recent article about the national book award and changes you're team is trying to implement. >> part of it was trying to make the awards as exciting as possible. we have a red carpet back here. an afterparty, and a deejay
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with -- and actually a waiting list for the afterparty, which is new. it's really about trying to impact great books on the culture, and we have incredible finalist this year. >> can any book be nominated? >> any book by an american can be nominated. the publisher has to nominate. >> you're also the head of the persius book group. >> we're the leading independent publisher in the united states when you include both the books we publish and the book wes distribute. in fact a couple of our distributed authors, authors published by small independent publishers, are finalist today, including david egers. >> what comes under it. >> basic books, books that make
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you think, public affairs, politics, and current events. those would be two. >> david steinberger, chair of the national book foundation and head of the persuis group. [inaudible conversations] >> we continue our live coverage from the national book awards here in new york city. this is one of the nominated books. "the boy kings of texas. " a memoir. domingo martinez is the awe their. mr. martinez now joins us here on the red carpet.
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this is your story. is that correct? >> it's primarily my story but it's also the story of my family. i go back one generation more and discuss my grandmother's mythology, how she came over to america, and how ultimately her coming across from mexico into america, that sort of spawned this fantastic first generation american story. >> mr. martinez, you were raised in brownsville, texas, right on the border, what was it like during your childhood? >> back then i experienced it as being racially polarized, in a more economic sort of striation, and was very agriculturally based. my parents ran a trucking business that sort of --
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basically farm laborers, so kind of a conflicted experience because we would go to school and pretend like we were wealthier than we were, and entirely different, the people who we really are or were, and then we would go home and it was a completely untraditional lifestyle as farm laborers, my brother and myself. my sisters had a different experience. ultimately that was what we knew and what we understood about our environment. >> within the family, what were some of the dynamics? >> my father was latin -- mexico-american. my mother was european-american so that kind of created a very tense -- sort of other complicated household, and they had a lot of children right away, in the late '60s, early 70s, and i don't know if this
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is actually traditional to most hispanic or latin american families but my sisters were the property of my mother, and my brother and myself were the property of my dad, and as boys, working with a father who own as trucking company, we were sort of like the indentured laborers and my sisters were learning this phenomenal, idealic lifestyle aspirin successes. so that's one of the tensions i draw from early on in the book. >> how much of your family is still alive and what did they think of the book? >> every member of my family is still alive. even my grandmother, and while the story is tough and gritty, they've actually been supportive. my mother and my father haven't really come to terms with it. they find the stories too painful to relive. but they're still very
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supportive. they now see the book as a larger text, more as a sort of a historical document that is actually affecting a lot of people, because it is. it's -- for every person that feels uncomfortable with the content of the story, there are thousands more who, for the first time, are feeling heard and seen and witnessed. >> is it being published in spanish as well? >> i believe. so my agents are working on those rights. we had them and we were discussing that when the national book award finalist nomination came up. so that's kind of interrupted our conversation. >> well, at it published by a smaller press, lion's press. >> correct. >> what was your reaction when you found out you had been nominated? >> first of all they had to translate what it meant to me. it was so outside my experience. this is my very first book, and
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every other person i'm up against is, like, won a pulitzer or work for the wall street journal, news day, and up until six months ago i was managing a print shop in seattle, selling business cards to microsoft employees. so i it was kind of a shock to the system, and the term "dark horse" gets used quite a bit in regards to my chances here. but we -- it was an incredible shift towards the positive. i mean, nice to have these dramatic shifts for the better in your life. normally they're -- when something this big happens it's usually for the negative but this time it's very much for the positive. so we were quite pleased. >> what is brownsville like today? >> my experience with it when i went back, it was like so much -- >> saw family there? >> my father still lives there
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and my grandmother. i made the trip to sort of get the blessings, both literally and figuratively, and it was different. the house we grew up in is no longer there. it's been sold two or three times. graham's house is still intact. still as creepy as ever. and there's a sense of peace there anymore. it's like she is very much living in her late stages of life, and much more calm as a human being, and the rest of the town was -- it was much more -- it wasn't sort of a returning to the scene of a crime, or return of the prodigal son. it was kind of a sort of slipping through and trying to witness the places it really was anymore, and there was a detail there i hadn't seen before.
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and sort of the concentration of communities and houses. mom and pop stores and restaurants. and the town is almost mythical in a sense. just change, and yet keeps evolving. i developed a renewed fondness for it when i went back, possibly because i change. i didn't feel as powerless when i lived trip. went there with a sense of -- certainly not returning of the conquering hero, but have come to terms and understand what this place was like. >> here is the million more "the boy kings of texas." the author, domingo martinez, and he is a finalist for the national book award nonfiction author. thank you for joining us here 0 on the red carpet. >> thank you for haying me. >> mr. gold steen? what is 12.
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>> we publish no more than 1 books a year. generally one a month. hopefully best sellers. >> what are the becomes you published this year? >> in september we published "mortality." by christopher hitchens, and we have gotten great reviews. a lot of coverage from the media, and actually just been named to several best-of lists, including barnes & noble, amazon, publishers weekly, hudson booksellers and i hope for more. >> what else have you published? >> in october we published a book called "the one room school house" which lays out a radical vision of education in the future of america, and the marriage of traditional classroom and digital technology, employing them in a way that flips our traditional model of education. >> by the way, carn appeared on our afterwards program so if you
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want to watch that author, type in his name. long history between 12 and christopher hitchens. >> long history. we published christopher, "god is not great" in 2007. a number one "new york times" best seller. after that book we published his first memoir, followed last september by an essay collection called "arguably." also went on to be a best seller, but together under extreme circumstances. he was very ill at the time. we hoped to publish a book -- a long are -- longer book about his illness but we corrected the article for vanity fair. >> you're going to be at the miami book fair next week, november 17th, 18th, along with carol blue, and martin amos. >> that's going to be a really
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interesting panel to be on. martin and christopher knew each other for a very long time. carol and martin are very close mitchell relationship with christopher really dates back to "god is not great" and as my career blossomed and his career as a writer blossomed. i have a little less institutional memory as far as he hitchens project but i'll contribute where i can. >> booktv will be covering the panel supply will be talking with carol belue, christopher himens' widow, and we'll be taking tweets and face book comments for carol blue. go to face, and like booktv, and you can join in the conversation or tweet in a question for tv. any nominees for 12? >> i think it's an incredible list of books so i'm very excited to see what rises to the top. i think it's going to be tough
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to be objective. if you want to add one thing, christopher was very fond of saying that he and -- grew up together and he would say the launch of the network coincided with his arrival in the country. so i'm sure sure my being here as ambassador would have meant a lot. >> and of course, christopher himmens, and you can log that in and hundreds of programs will pop up. gary goldstein, the publisher of "12." back to red carpet here at the national book awards, the 63rd annual. [inaudible conversations]
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>> now joining us here is bob minzesheimer. i'm going to get you over here. you have the better light. i don't need to worry about that. how important are the national book awards in your view? >> well in the book world? very important. probably not quite as important as the pulitzers, but they're second to the pulitzer's, the most prestigious award, and they're trying to make them more of a cultural phenomenon. look the booker award thursday britain. >> do you comment on the finalists? >> well, i did -- i've always believed -- this is a strange thing. in britain, the bookies -- betting is legal in britain, and
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bookize set odd on the booker awards. we have nothing like that. and i thought, we should. try to make books more part of the popular culture. so my two predictions -- and i'm guessing because the judges or five people. each panel is five judges. five predictions that kevin powers, who has written a debut novel set in iraq, yellow bird, will be an upset in fiction, and an sold standby, robert caro, who has been on chance many tames, his book on lyndon johnson may win the nonfiction,. although katherine boo's book set in the slums of mumbai may also be a favorite. who knows. >> as a reporter who covers the book stress, -- book industry, how would you describe the health of publishing today? >> i think the book business is ones of those businesses that
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always feels bee leagu -- beleaguered, and maybe it is because of the digital revolution. i want say it is ailing. i wouldn't say it's a great investment. so somewhere some between there. i don't really worry about that much. i still there's still a lot of good books coming out and readers have a great deal to choose from. the big question is, how many big publishers will there be, how much more consolidation will there be? it's a huge world, even beyond new york. thousands of publishers in the united states who seem to be finding niches in using print books in a digital age. >> i think i read this year was the first year that ebooks outsold hardbacks. >> in certain categories are. there's always an asterisk there. ebooks outsold hard cover, but if you combine paperback and hard cover, print outsold issue.
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the biggest impact issue book d ebrooks are making is in popular -- >> 50 shades of gray, thriller. >> those types of book, somewhere around a third or more of the copies sold -- also cheaper, and people don't want to keep those. serious nonfiction, the robert caros still have a home in the print world. the question is, how much longer and what does that mean for independent book stores. >> what are you currently reading? >> i'm always stumped by that because i'm reading several things. i am reading a unusual book. i'm going to interview the national editor of "the new york times" who has written a primer on thanksgiving. i describe as elements of style but not about punctuation about how to cook a turkey. i'm about to go to nashville to
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interview a novelist who opened a book store there a year ago, so i've been freshening up on her work. >> bob minzesheimer, thank you for joining us here on booktv. now someone whose face you may not recognize but as soon as you hear her voice you'll know who she is. this is terry gross of fresh air, npr. what are you doing sneer. >> i'm presenting the literarian award, because they do such a good job with the reviews. >> isn't that the award you won a couple years ago? >> five years ago, yes. >> how many books do you do on "fresh air"? >> a lot. we usually do several a week and i read so many books every year. and for me "the new york times" is valuable because it alerts me
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to so many books i might not have paid attention to without their flagging. we get so many -- there's so many books we look at all the time on our show, and sometimes it's helpful to have somebody say, this book is great, and maybe you didn't notice it the first time around. and i love reading book reviews. i read so many books i love seeing what other people have to say about the book i'm reading now or am about to read or just read, and if i just read it, i like to compare my thoughts to the reviewer's thoughts and the times has such great writers. >> have you ever been turned down by an author? >> some authors don't do interviews, but usually if authors are willing to do interviews, they're willing to come on our show, i'm proud to say. >> if you could go back and interview an author who may be dead, there is one in your head that comes up? >> um, let's see.
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i would be very happy to interview f. scott fitzgerald if i had the chance. >> what are you currently reading for pleasure? >> i don't read for pleasure in the sense that i'm always reading something for the show. so, -- but i haven't started my next book yet. so right now i'm reading "the new york times." >> when can we expect another book from you? >> maybe never. i'm telling you, writing a book, you don't need me to tell you this. writing a book is so difficult that i don't know if i will ever do it again. even though the book wasn't -- it was book of interviews edited for the page, with long introductory essay by me, and i worked with a collaborator, dear friend of mine, and it was so hard. to do a book and a daily show, i don't recommend it. >> terry gross of npr, we appreciate your time this evening. >> thank you so much.
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>> if you're a rather of the "washington post" you have seen her column. this is anne applebaum. this is her book" iron curtain, 1944 to 1956" also a winner for the pulitzer for gulag. what-underror thoughts about being a finalist? >> surprised. it's not the most popular kind of subject, and i was pleased. >> why do you say it's not the most popular surge. >> eastern europe after the war, it's a black hole, actually in european history, very few people know very much about it. one of the points of writing the book was to put together both work people have done in other langes and also to use archives and interviews to tell a story that hasn't been very well told. how it is communism took over the region, how is it done. >> how quickly after the end of world war ii did the iron curtain, communist take over
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europe? >> it actually happened quite fast in the sense that when he red army came into the region, they were already prepared. they didn't know how long it was going to take and didn't have a ten-point plan but they began trying to control key institutions from the beginning, including the secret police, and also the radio and various -- other parts of the society they considered important. that one from from '44 or '45. >> where were the strongest areas of resistance? >> probably in poland. there was an armed resistance, the partisans, who were operating from the woods, particularly in eastern poland, and they were -- >> lasting effects of what happened when the soviets took over eastern europe? >> yes. first of all, there was years of communism. even to this day there's a
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hangover in many countries of the region as people -- habits acquired in that period of totalitarian occupation do persist. >> now, you have a very special interest in poland. can you tell us why? >> it is -- first of all i've been working there on and off for 20 years. i was first there in 1988, and i was there during 1989, during the collapse of communism, and in '89 i met a pol who i got married to and he is now the polish foreign minister, and it is unusual, but he wasn't the prime minister when i met him but he is now. >> is he here snitch. >> he is not. >> he's working. >> he's working, and also it's a long way and i might lose, and so -- >> ann applebaum is a finaliist for the nationalbook award nonfiction her book, "iron
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curtain." anne applebaum will be taping a q & a program for c-span later this month. you can watch this on a sunday night. thank you for joining us here on the red carpet at the national book awards. >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> you can see the reporters are gathered right outside the red carpet with the photographers, as more of the finalist -- this is the host of the program tonight. this is a woman, faith salie is her name and she will be hosting the awards. john lithgow did it last year. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> joining us right here, right
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outside the red carpet, we were just watching faith salie have her picture taken, and you're hosting this tonight. >> i am juggle when and why did they ask you? >> i don't know how to answer the second part. the first part is easy. i think it was august. at the time my new baby was two months old so it's all a haze. of course i said yes, the at the time i couldn't imagine leaving the house for more than two hours. why did they ask me? >> are you an author? >> i am not an author. shocking, right. >> i thought you were a writer. >> i write my own material. i'm a commentator at large. apparently somebody things what i have to say is occasionally worth listening to or laughing at, which i'm hoping will happen tonight. i'm incredibly honored to be here with these people. the coolest thing do toe be the dumpest person in the room. >> what's your angle tonight? >> well, my challenge is i know part of what i'm supposed to do is be funny, which i will try to
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do, but i am very reverent about literature. so i actually started thinking a lot about what books mean to me and why this is such an honor, and started thinking that everybody sort of has a personal play list of books so i'm going to run down my personal play list. >> give us a key which book you're going to mention tonight? >> well, kind of starts and ends with "the giving tree." i mark my life in terms of -- turning points that involve books and that's the first memory i have of my mom, her reading that to me, and he always cried, and i never understood why because i was three years old, and i recently read it to my son and almost drowned us both in a pud of tiers. >> what project does you have? >> i'm going to milwaukee tomorrow morning for npr. this sunday i'm on sunday morning, which is a friend of
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the national book award, doing a piece on the geometry of pasta. it matters. shape matters. >> faith salie, you'll be seeing her emcee the event tonight. >> thank you so much. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies, gentlemen, authors, poets, editors, agents, publishishes, librarians, book binders, women, i am so happy to be here tonight. my name is faith salie, and i have a profound soft spot in my heart for this world of books. my husband works in publishing, and i married him anyway. now, if you are at a table with a nominee, please point to that person to make him or her feel wildly uncomfortable.
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thank you. and let's applaud all of this year's nominees. [applause] >> with the election behind us and the fiscal cliff right in front of us, i think it's nice just to have an evening when we can focus on what is important, like whether molly ringwald is really here tonight. is she? i trust you all read "the new york times" piece this past week on how tonight is part of a close, visible makeover for the national book awards them article goes on to say the goal is to add more sex appeal to an industry that is not exactly known for it. and there will be signs everywhere of the aspirations to turn this once dowdy event into a glamorous party.
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from where i stand, looking out at your sexy, sexy faces,-you are post-dowdy. thank you. that's the drinking table. it's fun to tell jokes outside of new york that you're involved with the nba because people start can go you questions about what lebron and kobe are really like. it's really an understandable confusion because writers and professional ballers are incredibly similar. they're both wildly overpaid people, in peak physical condition. but the real similarity is this. both writers and basketball players really want their first drafts to go well. so, -- mo, my god, slow burn type of audience. i know who you are now. okay. we got the drinkers and the
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slow burners. all right. i have a confession. i have not been able to read all of the nominated books this year because i have a five-month-old baby. but -- oh, my god, applause for that? thank you. if i had known, i wouldn't have waited 400 years have a baby. but if you had written a fearlessly electrifying novel involves lots of pictures of giraffes, i am all over it. i if you have a searing ex-suppose say of the dark world of sleep training, i have dog-eared your apps. i have, however, read "this is how you lose your mind" a fictional account of breast-feeding on demand. i've dug into the poems of "bewilder. ment.
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trying to not get pee asked on, and then a tale of baby proofing your home. when i was asked to host the awards i immediately said yes. then once i started thinking about what i wanted to say, i realized i was in a spot of trouble because the truth is, when it comes to literature, i have always been very reverent, but i make my living expressing myself irreverently, and for the past five months have been expressing myself quite literally. was that a groan? the moms in the house get it. if the reference comes from being a perpetual awestruck student of book mist whole life. concentrated on victorian literature in college. i want to grad school in oxford university, and there you don't study for your masters, you read for it, and read i did. my focus was modern literature,
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1880 to 1960 because in those days oxford didn't offer a course in literature beyond 1960 because presumably there would not have been time enough to manifest an appropriate bouquet. i was on a plane recently, and the flight attendant asked us before takeoff to turn off our books. and i know what she meant, of course. but on a lofty level, it occurred to me, you never turn off books. if they are meaningful and res meant, they leave a piece of themselves inside you. they live with you. sorry to milk the motherhood reference but i think of something called microkinerism, which is when a mother carries a child, the baby leaves its dna in the mother forever, and so it is with a book you absorb. now, most people could construct
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a kind of sound track of their life. a list of songs that capture a time and place. but those who loved literature, who have lived through books and with books, can construct a literary play list of our lives. the books that marked moments of being to use virginia wolf's words. one of my first memories is sitting in a rocking chair on my mother's lap, listening to her her read "the giving tree." i never understood why he cried at the end. can i have a case of tang? i remember reading "the turn of the screw" when i was 13, mesmerized. i was shocked you could use so many commas before getting to a period, and staying up long after my family was asleep and i was so terrified by the ending i was afraid to move, and i understood it then simply as a victorian ghost story, and then a real turning point in my
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relationship with literature came in tenth grade. then that is when i started heavy petting my books. i was reading "scar let letter" and my father would drive me to rehearsals and talk about what was doing in school and would use what i now recognize as a method, ask me questions about the "scar let letter." he wii say, so the characters name is pearl? why would he use that name? and i realized a book could be mined. that as a reader i could become a detective of mean, and it took a few more years that i learned that a good book makes you a detective of yourself. i told you this was going to getter reverent. in the fall of my senior year of kiln was a finalist for the rhodes scholarship and then i found myself as a cocktail peter with the other finalist we were asked, if we were on a desert island, which book would we take
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with us. this cocktail party took place in georgia, which i'm from, and a few hoof my court parts said they would take the bottle. i said, the turn of the crime had recently re-read and it by then my relationship with literature had become positively steamy, and i had come to read it as a psychological tale of jennifer his stair you and other lit-crit deconstruct, that the same book could mean entirely different things at different points in your life was magic. by the way, lit-crit is not a phrase you want to stumble over in mixed company. fast forward my play list to virginia wolf to reading the moonstone, and riyadh, with the man who would become my husband, to not to many days ago i read "the giving tree" to my son and
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i almost drowned him in in tears. so enough with the reference -- reverence. and get on with the awards. wrighters are people, people with laptops and a possible vitamin d deficiency, and we're here today to celebrate them. and so, we shall begin with the literarian award to present the literarian award, is terry gross. terry gross has been host of npr's "fresh air" since 1975. the program is broadcast on 566 stations and reaches 4.6 million listeners weekly. in her career, gross has created over 6,500 "fresh air" shows and in 2007, terry herself received the literarian award for her
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outstanding service to the american literary community. it gives me great personal pleasure to welcome terry gross. [applause] ♪ >> thank you. i'm grateful we can all be here tonight. there are so many essentials we take for granted. electricity, running water. subways. "the new york times" book review. we may think of the book review as having been there forever but it's been around only since 1896. practically forever but not quite. in advance of the book review's fifth anniversary back when it was pushed with the saturday paper, harpers published this note of congratulations: not only has the saturday supplement of the times become a serious and worthy factor in journalism but all prooperate temperatures of other newspapers whose wisdom
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is greater than their vanity have emulated the example. every daily journal in new york and nearly everyone in the country now has a well-conducted literary department. unfortunately that last part is no longer true. as you know sunday book section are becoming increasingly scarce, but through changing times and changing fortunes, generations of the families maintain the times commitment to books, not just sundays but through the week, even as other papers have eliminated book coverage. as al thunder sillsberg -- arthur sulzberger receives the award tonight, he should be -- this is a tough room. be honest. among this gathering of authors, editors and publishers-while many of you are thinking, bless you, "new york times," for the great review you gave my last
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book, turning it into a best seller and changing my life forever, some of you are thinking, damn you, "new york times," for a review that totally missed the point of my book and doomed it to oblivion. i'm still smarting from a review from several years ago and it wasn't even my book. >> but the cruel is fate of all for a writer who spent years on a book is for that book to be ignored, and just think of all oof the worthy books and that includes children's literature, that might never be reviewed anywhere were it not for "the new york times." it's not just the sunday and daily reviews that make the times essential the literary community. it's the feature stories on authors and others in the publishing world ask the obituaries when they pass. the regular coverage of the book business and the come examination goings of the publishing houses and now it's the book web site that makes all of its coverage accessible anytime, along with web-only features
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features and podcasts. i need to complain to wheweye arthur sulzberger, jr. deserves this award. so let me tell you what "the new york times" book coverage means to me. because i interview so many authors, reviews are a shopping catalogue for authors i would like too feature as guests on "fresh air." the times regularly alerts me to books and authors i was unaware of or overlooked or initially evaluated too harshly. and when i introduce guest authors on "fresh air" it's almost embaressing -- its especially embarrassing to -- but she crystallized i would why a book matters. that's my phone that's ringing because i forgot to turn it off.
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above all else, i think i speak for everyone here tonight, reading the times and books makes me feel a community of one with reader, a community for whom books matter. so let me add my voice to all those here tonight cheering arthur sulzberger, jr., this year's literaryian award recipient. [applause] [music]
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>> well, thank you. thank you very much, terry, for those very kind words and i'll apologize on behalf of all my colleagues because of the problems a couple years ago with whatever that book was, and thank you, faith, for quoting the times. we sometimes stay in the business it doesn't matter what they say about you, as long as they spell the name right eye. sincerely alreadied to be here and accept this word on behalf of the entire "new york times" team i'm blessed to relevant as you can imagine, the quality content you see in the book review and in our daily book coverage is a result of the dedi many people over so many years. our editor, july aye abrahamson, her deputy, and the editor of the book review, continue to
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show case our book coverage as a pillar of the times brand, maintaining that same integrity that my great grandfather intended when he instituted it from 115 years ago. unfortunately, sam could not be with us tonight. so, to jill and dean and to my other colleagues from "the new york times" who are sitting there at table 31, and also to chip legraph, sam's predecessor who is seated over there i'm so pleased to be able to share tonight's celebration with you, and so, too, is mark thompson, our ceo of the last three days, at the times, who joined us tonight. so thank you all. [applause] >> the book business is indeed very similar the news boons. at the end of the day we both tell stories.
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your readers, like ours, have options on how to experience these stories, whether it's lit up on a screen or printed on the pages of a paperback, people are still reading. and that's why the times is committed to investing in and growing our book coverage, both in print and online. we're adapt though reading habits of now. last year we expanded our bestseller list to include ebooks and as reading habits continue to evolve we will be there to report and assess and comment on it all. as much as we're moving forward, the book review is rooted in long-standing traditions but it is not an outdated one, and we've all been reminded of that of late. in the wake of hurricane sandy, many of us faced days without power, and when our laptops and
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ipads and ereaders ran out of battery life, we turned to books. reading them by candlelight. [applause] >> no matter how clever, convenient, or cutting edge digital media becomes in the future, books will remain and will always be a part of the conversation at the "new york times." we know there would not be a times book review without all of you. the editors and publishers and writers who devote their time to bringing books, creating books, bringing them to readers. so, i'd like to thank all of you, again, for continuing to tell your stories, so that we can tell ours. thank you. [applause] [applause]
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>> and now, to present the medal for distinguished contribution to american letters is martin amis. martin is the author of 13 novels. he is the author of the memoir, experience, two collections of short stories and six books nonfiction, including the second plane. he was literary editor of the new statesman and served as the prefer of creative writing at the center for new writing at the university of manchester until 2011. please help me welcome, martin amis. [music]
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>> good evening. elmore leonard. let us attempt to narrow it down. elmore leonard is the literary genius who writes, re-readable thrillers. he belongs there not in the main stream but to the general on -- fiction on the whole relies on plot, has only a dozen plots to read. boy meets girl, good meets bad and so on. but mr. leonard has only one movement all his thrillers or re-workers of tales, in which death roams the land, usually miami or detroit, disguised as money. nevertheless, mr. leonard
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possesses gifts, timing and phrasing, ear and eye, that even the most snobbish masters of the main stream must earnestly covet. and the question is, how does he allow these gifts play in his efficient, unpretentious and yarns about semi literate mobsters, gangsters, cocktail waitresses, lone sharks, bouncy hunters, and syndicate executioners. the essence of elmore is to be found in the use of the present participle. he has discovered the way to slow down the english sentence, or let's say the american sentence, because mr. leonard is as american as jazz. instead of writing lawrence
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lived in malanapan. mr. leonard writes, lawrence gantz, living up, and he opens quotes, we are not in the imperfect tense. or the present. or in historic present. we are in a kind of marijuana tense. [laughter] raft [laughter] >> storm saying. creamy wandering week verbed. seems to open up a lag in time through which mr. leonard easily slides. gaining entry to his players' hidden minds. he doesn't just show you what these people say and do. he shows you how they breathe. now, all his characters are
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terrible and pitiable and sometimes downright endearing and always very funny, but they're junk souls. set against these seedy blunderers in every novel, and the one i want to concentrate on is r aye ylin gibb bonds hero, raylan is dead straight, a genuine enforce, unlike the skip tracers and bag men who, in mr. leonard's work, usually represent the law and order history. raylan is an anacreonism for town, and he shows what mr. leonard holds dear, the values he can common in different american rhythm. those of, for instance, richard
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ford or robert frost or even mark twain. this is a quote. please concentrate... you can cut official corners to call a man out but couldn't walk in a man's house unless ininvited or else with a warrant. it was the way he was raced, with good manners. back when he was living in the coal camp and miners struck, raylan walking a picket line, his dad in the house dying of black lung, and a couple came across the street, with pick handles, and walked up to where his mother was on the porch. they said they wanted to speak to her brother. she told them, you don't walk in a person's home unless your invited, even you people must believe that. you have homes, don't you? wifes and mothers keeping house? they shoved her aside and hit
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raylan with a pick handle to put him down. her words hadn't stopped them. what they did was stick in raylans mind. her words, her quiet tone of voice, stopped him more than 20 years later from breaking into this man's house. i said mr. len nerd was a genre writer but this is a technicality. it cannot hold him. as we crown elmore leanord tonight, let's remember the iron law propounded by vladimir, there is only one school of writing, that is talent. thank you very much. [applause] ♪
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♪ [applause] >> this is a nice act to follow, i'll tell you. martin and i have been making
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appearances together for the last, oh, several years. here in los angeles. what i do is describe martin amis as the complete literary star at the top of his game, and then i might mention i have appeared as a category on jeopardy. several times. [laughter] >> earlier this year, when i began writing a book i'm cowling "blue dreams" which incidentally is taken from the name of a marijuana, although that's the marijuana reference earlier had nothing to do with me. i thought it might turn out to be my last novel. number 46 to add to the stack. [applause] >> i was finally getting tired.
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then the first chapter of the book sold to the atlantic, as a short story. not long after, letter arrived from the national book foundation. awarding me this year's medal for my work, all of it. and i thought, with this kind of boost coming out of nowhere, how could i be working on my last book? so i've been writing fiction for 60 years. but didn't make many best bestsr lists until the mid-1980s. i didn't worry about it. my books aren't exactly plot driven. they're about people. with guns. [laughter] >> in dire situations. once i became known, i thought reviewers were going a bit overboard saying the subtext of my work is the systemic exposure
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of artistic pretension. my writing was an indictment of civilization and hit byproducts but the review i think of as the most stimulating, if not a realistic appraisal of my work, comes from new musical express in london, who calls me the poet laureate of wild afros with revolvers. ...
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and the only rule at 5:00 in the morning was start writing. get in to the story before i could put the water on for coffee. most of the fiction i wrote at day break, so -- magazines. for two cents a word. in 1953, 4500 word webster sold for 90 dollars. two years later a studio paid $4 ,000 to make a movie. and i liked it a lot, but walter called the picture three hours and ten minutes past high noon. [laughter] in '69 i wrote my first book
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that wasn't a western. my agent in hollywood at the time read it, called in and said, kid, i'm going to make you rich. so he sold the "quick bounce" as a quick movie sale and sent it out to producers and got 84 rejections. i topped that once and got 105 rejections on another story that alfred hitchcock bought but then died on me. the book did sell. [laughter] and twice was adapted for the screen. i can't believe anyone in the room saw either version of the picture or remembers it. if you did, because i saw it here in new york and i came in a little bit late. i was about twenty minutes in to the picture i sat down and the
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woman in front of me said to her husband, it was the worst picture i've ever saw in my life. and the three of us got up and left. [laughter] [applause] i've never seen the whole movie. [laughter] i wrote screen plays in the '70s thinking i would be good at it. i wore myself out rewriting scripts for producers who nearly always believed the property need -- plotted needed more back story. in the winter of '72, they called to ask if i read the" friends of eddie" by george hying begins. i told i hasn't heard of it. he said, is this is your kind of book. it is your kind of stuff. run out and get it before you write another word.
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i got the book and read the opening sentence in the store. jackie browne at 26 with no expression on his face said he could get some guns. i finished the book at home and one sitting and felt like i had been set free. hying begins moved the story almost entirely with dialogue to conversations of cops and criminals. their voices establishing the style and driving. i stopped trying to tell what was going on in my books and began to show. i began to show it from the pointing of view and voices of characters bad guys and good ones. the way george used his ear to tell what his people were up to. five years later "the new york
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times" said i often cannot resist a set piece. with a crazy is kind of scat logical poetry. that's pretty much how i learned to write in a style. i lifted from higgins but changed enough until it became my own sound. i want to thank the national book foundation for my award and recognize the executive director harrold. and his people for keeping this event on track despite sandy trying to stop us. they deserve our thanks and praise. i have to tell you -- [applause] -- i have to tell you i'm energized by the honor. the only thing i have ever learned to do any life is have a
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good time writing stories. this award tells me i'm -- thank you. [applause] [cheering and applause] mr. leonard, i'm sit agent the table with walter, he would like you to know that he sat through the big bounce and enyoud it. me may have been in a marijuana tent. i'm not sure. if i you haven't read elmore leonard ten tips for writing. do it now during dinner. number 10 is my favorite from elmore. ten tips for writing. try to leave out the part that the readers tend to skip. that's why he walked off the
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stage with a medal. it is time to enjoy the dinner. while you're doing it i want you to consider this. i'm not sure if you know how the process works in which they get chosen. what happens, this is true, is that the four groups of judges met for lunch today at different restaurants in manhattan. i think it was pa panera they choose the winner in the categories among themselves. this is just hours ago. and so i kind of think they had to speak in a secret language. you never know if the server is a blogger from gawker in disguise. i'm thinking they use a code to say to their colleagues, you know, whom they were voting for. it was like, excuse me, do you know what the soup of of the diaz. if you're serving brunch, may have the eagers benedict?
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how is the blueberry cobbler. this is getting bad. i lost you after diaz. ly return to the stage after dinner pun free, please enjoy your dinner. [applause] [inaudible conversations] good evenings on the board of directors ill like to welcome you to the 63rd national awards. [applause] i i would like to start by thanking our dinner coach heres.
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this nay times reporter -- four years ago we were at the marriott. today we have an authentic red carpet. it's over there. if you don't believe me. we have an after party with a dj and not only that, but we have a waiting list for our after party. [cheering and applause] who would have thought that we would have for the after party for the national book awards a waiting list. things have changed. not everything is changed. because the times have also reported and this in case they reported me, it's not about being glitz city, it's about increasing the impact great books have on the culture. that is our mission and that is why we are here tonight.
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[applause] keeping with that, i would like acknowledge the extraordinary writers in the room. with i have amazing writers. command mention them all. i can mention a few. i'm going ask you to hold your applause until i'm done. let me run through a few people. maryann hobberman, james carol, edward, victor, lily, jean valentine, robert cairo, and are also winners of the pulitzer prize. juneau diaz, katherine, and tracy smith, amanda foreman. national book critic circle wins nora and robert and dave eagers recipient of the literary award and stephen king.
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please join me in recognizing these great american writers. [applause] i would like to our financial supporters. without whom woe couldn't bring you awards the or programs. i would like you to hold your applause until i've read the list. premier sponsors barnes & noble, ban skies, random house, the ford foundation, leadership sponsors. harper colins, stephen king, debra buy lee, thank you. [applause]
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[applause] okay, now for something special. i'd like to acknowledge in the audience the winner of the fourth annual innovation in reading prize. funded by the lessening gear foundation. listen to the list and hold your applause until i'm finished. we have 15-year-old lily. she started givingly briers in a homeless shelter where kids can take as many books as they want they'd would own not borrow. in chicago reading against the odds. enhancing the critical thinking skills of adult literacy learnings by introducing them to challenging book. the at the library in colorado a group of teens calling themselves the interesting readers society. produce unique book television programming, in portland, oregon, street book as a library who live on the streets lending them book by baby and memphis,
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tennessee, real men read brings african-american men together with 3-year-olds to develop lifelong. i would like them to stand. [applause] [cheering and applause] and finally, i would like to thank my fellow board members, for their hard work and i have to acknowledge the foundation staff this year under the tirelessly leadership of harrold, listen this this week two weaks ago the foundation us a were flooded. they have not reopened. in the past three days, the staff have pulled off seven wig events including this one with no telephones, no office, no
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mail, computer serve ease reside in harrold's dining room all of us our heart felt thanks. [applause] [applause] ton the awards ceremony. thank you. [cheering and applause] just a few orders of business before we begin. one is that's the bookings on your table, you're allowed to take home. i'm sitting with harrold and he said you can. if you wrote one of them and taking it home. that's a little weird. you can take the rose petals, if
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that's your thing. what's going to happen it's the order of the awards. we will learn the winners of young people's literature then poetry and non-fiction and then fiction. this does not mean that fiction is the most important. it just means that the fiction writers hold their liquor better than the poets. [laughter] [cheering and applause] there you go. i love that corner. i want to share something quickly that i think can benefit everyone the room. i heard story on public radio the other day. there's a certain branch of publicly that is enjoying the robust sales. apparently coffee table books are at that. i heard this on marketplace. who is applauding for coffee table books? [applause] table 33, is the coffee table book table. okay. so because we're all in this for the money, clearly, i'm thinking
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harrold next year it's the naicialt coffee table book awards. that's a makeover. right? but why wait? with a few tweaks, we could, you know, coffee tablize some of this year's nominees in time for christmas. a hologram for the king becomes a glossy 3-d separation of elvis. no. we continue have elvis lovers. the yellow birds is a tactile pop up book experience how big bird emerged victorious in the 2012 election. that's good for kids; right? thank you. thank you. and heavenly bodies is, of course, for a feast for the eyes offering artful nude photographs of the nominated writers. robert gets the center fold wielding his impressive pen. all right.
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[laughter] on that note, we'll going young people's literature. [cheering and applause] to present the national book award in young people's literature is gary d. schmidt. [cheering and applause] i did my due diligence and i could not find anywhere in wikipedia or elsewhere online what the d. stand for. i found out that one of the hobby is cutting and splitting wood. in addition gary d. schmidt is author of the new berry honor and "liz city bright" "okay for now" a national book award finalist in 2011. gives me great pleasure to introduce gary d. schmidt. ♪
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good evening. over the last few months, i have had the privilege of being the chair of the committee organized too choose a national book award. for young people's literature. in the months, we read something over 325 books for young writers. ranging from picture book to par normal books for young adults. lots and lots and lots and lots of para normal books for young adults. it was a remarkable journey. we found books that shook us, filled us with joy and gladness, that sunned us to -- summoned us to courage and wonder. that used language in astounding ways. that surprised us what are narrative could do or we found books that brought beauty to the
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world of young readers and brought knowledge and understanding to the young world and brought wisdom to the world. we found books and this saint august seen that served the young readers in moving way and found the five finalists. these were the others who took that journey with me on that road. judith boar tease. susan cooper. dan yell, it's a great honor to be a part of the committee with you. i knew i would find wisdom in you all. i never expected to find friends. thank you for your labor and high and noble courtesy and kindness. for your belief that writing for
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young people is critically important for our culture. in such strangely troubled dais brought me back to hope. thank you. [applause] the five finalists are william alexander. goblin secrets. published. [cheering and applause] "out of reach" [cheering and applause] a story of the eleventh of love
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and loss. patricia mccormick "never fall down." [cheering and applause] an imprint of harpers colins publishing. a harrow and bravely told story of survival. elliot "endangered." [cheering and applause] published by scholastic books. a story of love that extends all boundaries even though that lie behind species. "race to build and steal the most's dangerous weapon" published by flash point. a rivetting thriller of the book that tells of a birth of age.
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to the writers, thank you. thank you for your work. and thank you for what it will mean young readers in our nation. this year's national book award for young people literature goes to william alexander. ♪ ♪
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okay. okay. we now have proof that alternate universes exist. there is one. absolutely one there has to be where endanger takes this home. there's actually one a little further away it was written by a author. i think it won it both times. there's and just another step another little step sideways, "out of reach" has to take it home for creating substance out of a wrenching absence. this is moments just a little, little step away from where we are we're being reminded of the devastating importance of narrative in "never fall down" if we exclude that set of earth already destroyed by the bomb, and instudy consider the set that survived to this night,
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then a great many of those has the bomb taking this home. the literature of the imagination is important because it gives us a world large enough to contain alternatives. and therefore offers hope. because the way things are is not the only possible way that they could be. we have to know that. we always have to know that. we have to remember that. and stories are the very first way we learn that the first way we figure that out. so thank you, karen. thank you joe, thank you, thank
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you, thank you, thank you, alice. congratulations to my fellow finalists in every single possible version of our world and thank you all for joining me in this one. [applause] [cheering and applause] [inaudible conversations] the d. stands for david. william alexander had a baby girl named iris two weeks ago. he's a winner all around. [cheering and applause] to present the national book award for poetry is laura
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kasischke. she has published eight collection of poet. "space and chains" for which she received national book critic circle award. she's been a giewgen heim fellow and won two fellowship from the national endowment for the arts and published several noels. please help me welcome laura kasischke. what city on my summer vaiuation. the first belief that five boats put in a metaphor call room told and together told to agree on anything let alone deciding what the five most moving, beautifully crafting, humbling, deserving and mind blowing books
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could never do so without if not bloodshed serious odium. i took on the task thinking it would be mostly worthwhile and interesting. i would have four new enemy out there in the poetry world. it didn't happen that way. we agreed early on and easily we were in search of enduring merit. that was all. it was scary that first conference call. i felt sure i wasn't the only one that thought yeah right enduring merit except that one could another's offensive and then what? but my fellow panel is tracy cay smith. [cheering and applause] boar patrick, [cheering and applause] dana and i have lockerred in that metaphor call room all summer emerged not only in take but breathlessly in sync. the lasting poetry, the poetry
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that brought -- pushing other work away. we didn't disagree. we shared a passion and sense of urgency about seeing if the work was brought forth and presented to the world. in other words, this was easiest and obvious despite the internal and external wrestling that went in to it. i make it sound as if we didn't need to talk about. it oh, did we talk. oh did we list. oh did we worry. but we did it in sympathy and with a shared vision and i like to think that my group of panel is was of course uniquely incredible we were destined to do this together i believe in the end it was these five books we finally collapsed with and applauded and loved as a group that knead it possible for us to emerge full of joy about the process. the finalists for the national book award in poetry this year are david ferry.
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the wilderman new poems and translation published by the university of chicago press. cynthia huntington "heavenly bodies." published by southern illinois university press. tim, "fast animal." [cheering and applause] allen shapiro "night of the republican." and susan wheeler, published by the university of iowa press. [cheering and applause] [cheering and applause] i want to thank my fellow panelists that acknowledge them. my four new best friended in the poetry world for exorder their minds. they are full of generosity and excitement who had incredible motive for poets. unbelievely pure.
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we brought you to what we felt to have enduring merit. poets are looking for reason to hate others and disagree with them. the second is all judging is political and personal. no judge can be impartial. all the baggage this poet snubbed me at the conference that poet didn't. the poetry world is a small one. a subculture of a subculture. how were we to read the work of our peers? ..
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to be in conversation with people at a level deeper than who we are, where we are and what our lives mean. enduring marriage until the summer did i even believe in it? did i simply believe that enduring marriage could never be agreed upon that all things poetic are subjectivsubjectiv e and relative and therefore cannot be said to have merit and their endurance cannot be predicted? if so, i know longer believe that or even remember believing it. these five radioactive looks load for each of the screen and
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death was among the others and that they are not still being read a 100 years am glad i won't be able to see it because it will mean that only the cockroaches have survived. whatever happened to civilization? the last of my summer vacation was that there was always more mr. in a closed box than in an open box. know, when it comes to a box full of poetry, that is not true. over the summer, those boxes turned into a roomful of books full of poetry full of mystery. there's nothing more sacred and profane it turns out that living at the center of that ministry and indulging oneself in the intellectual pleasures of poetry for months. there's anything better on this planet than impulse to poetry i have no idea what it could be and i feel so grateful to have been born into a blitz long enough to have seen that really above all there is poetry. it is speaking for all of us wanted others, unable to know is
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the condition i have lived in all my life, a poverty of imagination about the life of another human being. you may know our lives from the book are panel concluded was the most astonishing book of poems this year, which was a very good year for poetry, bewilderment by david ferry. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ [applause] ♪ thank you so much. when i heard that -- when harold called me and said i was a finalist, i went out and i got my daughter elizabeth and took her out to lunch with me at murphy's pub. and we talked about it, and i
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said, the only thing ahead of these amazing rivals that i suddenly had and that i admire so much, that my only advantage was that i was so much older than anybody. so maybe they -- the judges would decide to give me a preposterous pre-post-humanist award. [laughter] and so i think they have. but i would like to say how grateful i am and especially thank randy, university press.
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[applause] who have been wonderful to me for years and randy and michael, emily smith who designed the book and the marvelous photograph on the cover by my son, photographer steven ferry. and i am crazy, but thank you. [applause]
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>> the national book award for nonfiction will be presented by holton. holton is the mccauslin professor of american history at the universituniversit y of south carolina. his 2009 but, abigail adams, won the bancroft prize. he is the author of unruly americans and the origins of the constitution. a finalist for the george washington book prize and national book award. his first book ,-com,-com ma forced founders, indians, debtors slaves in the making of the american revolution in virginia, when the organization of american historians merle kirby award. i am honored to introduce holton. [applause] ♪ ♪
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first i want to celebrate the wisdom and the congeniality of the fellow judges, who gave up a half half-year of their own writing to help find the five amazing books that we present to you tonight. they are brad gooch, linda gordon, susan orlean and judas fuel of its. [applause] the other judges and i also want to give special thanks to sherry young, who was our tireless and perfectionist liaison at the national book foundation. thank you, sherry. [applause] the finalist for the 2012 national book award for nonfiction are, and cho
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applebaum, "iron curtain," "the crushing of eastern europe" ,-com,-com ma 1845 to 1856 published by doubleday. [applause] and katherine boo, a hind of beautiful forevers. [applause] life, death and hope in a mumbai under city published by random house. and robert a. caro, "the passage of power," the years of lyndon johnson volume four published by albert a. knopf. and domingo martinez, "the boy kings of texas," published by lyons press, an imprint of pequot press. and the late anthony's shadid, "house of stone," mmr of home, family and the lost middle east, published by houghton mifflin
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harcourt. the winner of the 2012 national book award for nonfiction describes a world that couldn't be any more different from the world that we are enjoying here tonight. and yet it's a world that our world depends entirely upon. the subject of this book has been patronized and romanticized and eagerly ignored in previous work. in this book, they appear in all of their complexity. the villains and the sometimes villains along with the sometimes heroes. the s rafay behind this book reminds us all that good listening is an ethical act. stylistically, this book pretty
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much in dense a new genre of nonfiction writing because the author rivals the great novelists in developing characters and plotting various narratives that intersect and setting up surprises and creating tension. the winner of the 2012 nonfiction national book award is katherine boo for a hind of beautiful forevers, life, death and hope in a mumbai under city. [applause] ♪
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>> i find myself like mitt romney the other night without a speech. so i want to say first that it's such an honor to have been able to be in the same room last night with the finalist who don't need to tell them what extraordinary company they are. this book was done as a labor of love for my husband, who brought me in as a writer, brought me into a rope that i didn't know and made me believe that the stories there could be told. but the work itself was the product of some extraordinary women. it was who believed in me in this book and gave of their time to do it and that is kate medina and london king and all of these ferocious women at random house.
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i am grateful to them. [applause] i also have to say that this book would not be possible without two other extraordinary women. they are my translators for this project and they risked more than i did to tell the stories. finally, i'm grateful to the courage of the people who allow their stories to be told. if this means anything, i think it's this. that small stories in so-called places matter and one of the reasons that they matter i think is because, because they implicate and they complicate what we generally consider to be the larger story in this country which is, and throughout the world which is the peoples who do have political and economic power. i would just like to remember anthony shadid who was one of those great believers in small stories and we miss him badly
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and thank you. [applause] [applause] >> i i love it when writers are at a loss for words. they are still eloquent. to present the 2012 national book award for fiction is lori moore. lori moore is the author of three story collections and three novels. the most recent being a aid of the stairs, finalist for the pen faulkner award and the orange prize. for fiction and nonfiction have appeared in "the new yorker," the new york review books, "the new york times," the paris review, the yale review and elsewhere. she's been the recipient that the irish times prize for international fiction, the rea
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award for a short story, the pen malamud award, the o'henry award and the land and fellowship. she is a member of the american academy of arts and letters and it gives me great pressure to introduce lori moore. [applause] ♪ >> the other members of this year's jury for the national book award in fiction are stacy dur as moe, didn't i'll and janet perry. [applause] why would these otherwise sane, reasonable and brilliant people consent to this juror cracks one where you make a thousand enemies and maybe only one friend?
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while your front porch fills up of packages and your neighbors think you have a terrible late-night on line shopping habit through the entire spring and summer. when does it for the champagne of course ,-com,-com ma even if the champagne turns out to be with a lot of peach stuff in it. but one does it also to be part of a celebration of the deep mind meld that is reading. how else is the human mind so fully and exquisitely read except through a piece of literary fiction? desire, loneliness, the search for justice and for just one thing that is lucky or fair. these are some of the timeless themes literature has explored from the beginning and this year
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is no exception. the finalists are, juno diaz, this is how you lose her. [applause] published by riverhead books and penguin group usa. dave eggers, a hologram for the king. [applause] published by -- books. luis louise erdrich, the roundhouse. published by harper. an imprint of harpercollins. ben johnson, published by ecco press, an imprint of harpercollins. kevin powers, the yellow birds. published by little brown. [applause] the 2012 national book award for fiction goes to the roundhouse
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by louise erdrich. [applause] ♪ hey baby, where are you? [applause] ♪
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>> well met. hello, my relatives. the national book foundation and also the judges are two ways to shout out for all of the native people who are watching this livestream. [applause] i want to thank harpercollins. it is not even a huge company anymore. [laughter] but it has always been about four or five people to me, people who believed so strongly in my work that they have
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supported me and my family and literature, my bookstore and all of us who work there through these years. i want to thank my editor terry cardin, for believing in the book. [applause] jonathan burnham, jane byrne, trent duffy. i want to thank andrew wylie and jen off. i want to say to my fellow writers, you have written extraordinary books. i don't really know why i'm standing here but i've been working at this for about 100 years. not as long as elmer lammerts -- leonard, but a long time. [laughter] and i would not be here if it weren't for my daughters. [applause] alice, asa, bruschetta and --
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husband dan, mom and dad and all of you. i would like to in the end except this in the spirit of the turtle mountain chippewa people and in recognition of the grace and the endurance of native women. this is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations. thank you for giving it a wider audience. it means so much to all of us. thank you. [applause] >> and so, this concludes the 2012 national book awards ceremony. please help me congratulate all
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the finalists, winners and judges. [applause] everyone is invited to join me at the after party in the balcony. i would sincerely like to thank the national book foundation and especially harold for inviting me to be a part of this evening. one book i have predictably read an awful lot of lately is goodnight moon, so i would like to end intimate ceremony with this. goodnight readers and goodnight, goodnight thinkers and goodnight drinkers. good night humor and arthur sulzberger junior, goodnight publishers whose jobs are in flux. goodnight steven king who is wearing a tax. goodnight unknowns and goodnight famous, goodnight elmore leonard and martin a mist. and goodnight 1995 nobel prize
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winner. it was the best i could do at that one. goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight writers everywhere. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> for more information about the national book awards, visit national >> we don't know whether franklin roosevelt ever heard about the unprecedented call for health care as a right. even though he had endorsed the conference, he chose that time to go on vacation. fdr was actually ana cruz. i guess we can't really blame him. it was probably pretty well deserved vacation to three years earlier fdr had refused to
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include medical coverage is part of the social security act because he did not want to antagonize the medical profession. he did send a message of support to the health conference but not long afterward the outbreak of world war ii force the president's attention elsewhere. five years later on january 11, 1944 in his state of the union address, roosevelt spoke to the american people about the war and especially about the kind of peace the allies plan to establish after the defeat of fascism. he said that the one supreme objective for the future could be summed up in one word, security. and that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors, it means also economic security and social security. the individual political rights upon which the united states had
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been -- he argued were necessary but not sufficient to guarantee true freedom and security. afcee fcr then announced an economic bill of rights which is sometimes called the second bill of rights that included the right to a job and a living wage, the right to housing, education and security in old age and a right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. so even though if dr. missed hearing florence greenberg's speech, we hear echoes of it in his second bill of rights. the idea of economic and social rights is essential supplements to political rights started as far back as the french revolution. but the right to medical care was something much more recent. discussion of this kind of right became prominent in the 1930's and 40s first of all because medical care itself was becoming more effective.
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it was starting to matter much more in everyone's lives. but the medical miracles like vaccinations, penicillin, antiseptic surgery, treatments that could save lives and even extend life. and to withhold these miracles came to seem unjust. medical care at this time was also starting to cost more than ever before. the average family could not afford to pay for a hospital stay or a major illness or the birth of a child just on their wages. medical care had become not just a matter of life and health, it was also becoming something that could cause serious financial hardship. that is why medical care became a matter of economic security as well as health security. in the u.s. demands for medical care is the social right
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originated in the workers movement who represented by people like florence greenberg. they next came to national prominence and fcr its proposed second bill of rights and finally they were adopted in the united nations universal declaration of human rights after world war ii. thanks in part to eleanor roosevelt who hoped draft the u.n. declaration after her husband's death. today more than 70 countries recognize the right to health or health care in their constitutions. virtually every industrialized nation has taken steps to implement these rights by establishing some type of universal health coverage for their citizens. with one major exception. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at >> mother joan's washington bureau chief, david corn, his
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most recent book is called showdown, the inside story of how obama fought back cantor and the tea party. is the showdown referring to any specific incident or just politics in general mr. corn? >> will kind of both. the book is a behind-the-scenes account of what happened in the white house after the november november 2010 election when the republicans and the tea party really knocked barack obama for a loop and took control of the house and everything happened after that. the tax cut deal, big fights over the budget and the debt ceiling and deficit reduction and also the bin laden grade and reagan but happened in egypt and libya. so i'm looking at how obama made the decisions he made and why he took the actions he took in that very perilous time politically would also explain how this is all done in a way to set up the 2012 campaign that we just went through.
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he had a theory indy to do big hit in 2010, yet the theory that he could make the 2012 race a choice not just between him and mitt romney but a choice between different ideologies and different approaches to government and values. everything he did in that timeframe he kept trying to tether to this big idea. when i wrote the book of course we didn't know how things were going to end up on november 6, 2012. i looked at how he developed his governing strategy and electoral strategy and it really dominated. this is the back story to what happened with this presidential campaign. >> david corn, showdown is his most recent book and we are here at the national press club.


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