Good News All Around: Awards News for Discover and B&N Recommends Alumni

Dear Reader,

At the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes on Friday Night, we were thrilled to hear more good news for Discover alumni:  Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by 2006 Discover Award winner Ben Fourtain took the fiction prize, and Katherine Boo, whose masterpiece Behind the Beautiful Forevers took the prize for Current Affairs after being named a General Nonfiction finalist for the Pulitzer Prize just days before.

“You Do It For the Sake of Doing It”, Ben’s conversation with fellow alum Alan Heathcock is here, and if you’re looking for your next read, Ben’s recommendations are here.

Our Q&A with Katherine is here, and her recent reading recommendations are here.

Last year, Ismet Prcic’s indelible debut, Shards, a Holiday ’11 Discover pick, won the LATimes Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and this year the prize went to Maggie Shipstead’s snappy social commentary Seating Arrangements, a 2012 B&N Recommends selection.  Two terrific novels from two Discover authors were also shortlisted this year:  Fobbit by David Abrams and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

Tess Taylor’s Q&A with Maggie is here.  The B&N Review interviewed David, and later he spoke with Alex Gilvarry; their conversation “Where I Saw Tragedy, I Also Saw the Absurd” is here.  Robin’s conversation with fellow Discover alum Charles Yu, “>You Are Standing in a Dark Cave”, is here.

One of our favorite writers, Maria Semple, author of  Where’d You Go, Bernadette, the razor-sharp, madcap epistolary novel with a huge, warm heart (a Fall ’12 Discover pick) also appeared at the LATimes Festival this weekend, Jonathan Franzen wasn’t the only one who “tore through this book with headless pleasure” — Bernadette was just shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange prize), along with Discover alumnae Zadie Smith — whose NW was one of our favorite novels of 2012 — and Barbara Kingsolver, along with our current B&N Recommends selection, the beguiling Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

Maria’s conversation with Ayad Akhtar – winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama — is here.  Tess Taylor also spoke with Kate Atkinson; their conversation is here.

Ayad isn’t the only Discover alum with a Pulitzer this year: Adam Johnson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for literature, is also the author of a 2003 Discover pick, the very, very funny academic satire, Parasites Like Us.  Nathan Englander’s debut story collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, was a 1999 Discover pick.  The continued success of Discover Award finalist’s Eowyn Ivey’s luminous debut, The Snow Child, is just terrific.

Eowyn’srecent book recommendations are here.

Congratulations, all!

And fingers crossed for future prize announcements: Discover’s Summer ’13 season begins on May 7th (we’ll be announcing those titles in the next few days) — just as we wrap reading for Fall 2013…

Cheers, Miwa