- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Review of ‘blah’ memoir wins Hatchet Job prize
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - A critic who dismissed a divorce memoir as a stew of “vague literary blah” has won a prize celebrating the year’s most lacerating book reviews.
Camilla Long’s review of Rachel Cusk’s “Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation” for the Sunday Times newspaper was named winner of the Hatchet Job of the Year Award on Tuesday.
Long acknowledged finding the book _ in which Cusk, an award-winning novelist, recounts the breakdown of her marriage _ full of narrative gaps and “quite simply, bizarre.”
She described Cusk as a “peerless narcissist” and the book as “acres of poetic whimsy and vague literary blah, a needy, neurotic mandolin solo of reflections on child sacrifice and asides about drains.”
Cusk’s book was published last year to generally negative reviews, although The Daily Telegraph found it “full of beauty” and The Independent praised Cusk’s “honesty, courage, and the ability to depict her experiences in exquisitely crafted language.”
Long said that she hoped the award would encourage “thrilling, wild, exciting criticism.” Her prize consists of a golden hatchet and a year’s supply of potted shrimp from the award’s sponsor, a fishmonger.
The Hatchet Job award was established by literary website The Omnivore to honor “the angriest, funniest, most trenchant” review published in a newspaper or magazine.
Only in its second year, it has attracted wide attention in Britain, a country that loves a waspish turn of phrase.
While it has received some flak for rewarding mean-spiritedness, organizer Fleur Macdonald said the prize was intended “to encourage fearless and honest reviewing.”
And organizers insist they only pick on established writers strong enough to take it.
This year’s finalists included attacks on two of Britain’s most eminent novelists, Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie.
In the Washington Post, Ron Charles’ slammed Amis’ satirical saga “Lionel Asbo” as a “ham fisted novel” full of “blanched stereotypes.”
Zoe Heller’s critique of Rushdie’s memoir “Joseph Anton” for the New York Review of Books lambasted the author’s “magisterial amour propre” and concluded: “The world is as large and as wide as it ever was; it’s just Rushdie who got small.”
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Perhaps we're not as free as we think
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- Latest Obama claim: I don't learn anything from the news
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq