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Monday, April 23, 2012

Pulitzer Wins Prize For Stupidity

And the Oscar for best movie goes to….no one!

Imagine if that were to happen, with tens of millions of television viewers watching.  It never has, never will.  But those who give out the prestigious Pulitzer Prize did the equivalent a few days ago when it snubbed the publishing industry of its Oscar—the prize for best fiction.  One can only wonder aloud, with indignation, “What the f**k?”

The award has demeaned itself.

How could it happen that no award is given?  It’s not like the awards were canceled this year.  It’s not like a zillion fiction books weren’t published and up for consideration.  There was probably more competition than ever before for this award but a winner amongst several nominated finalists was not chosen. 

One can only conclude two things here:

(1.) Their selection system is so flawed that they haven’t worked out a tie-breaking system when their “jurors” are dead-locked.  Apparently this has happened on at least 10 occasions in the century’s history of the award.  Imagine not having a best movie, a best play, a best musical album?  Imagine not having a champion football or baseball team or a gold medalist for an Olympic competition?  Who runs a marathon without crowning a winner?

(2.) The award was not given because the elitist circle of voters (who are these prudes, anyway?) felt that there really wasn’t a book worthy of its coveted prize.  Really?  The whole idea of the award is to say who is better than the current competition, not best of all time.  Someone, out of the mall-load of books published, was better than others.  Give him or her their due. Give the industry and those who work so hard in it a little respect!

More importantly, don’t diss authors and creative writers, and editors, and publishers everywhere by deeming there was no one to celebrate.  It’s an outrage and an insult.  I wish I could slap the faces of these judges—with a Nook to the head, not a paperback.  

On the other hand, awards are bullshit.  They are not always given on the merits.  Politics, prejudice, and bad taste get in the way of how awards are given out—in all industries and fields.  Most consumers don’t care whether a book won an award and no award can change someone’s opinion and personal experience of that book.

Still, if society is to have rules, laws, competitions, and awards we expect the institutions to hold up their end of the bargain.  I give a Nobel Prize for Stupidity to the Pulitzer Prize dumbos.  And a tie-breaker was not needed here. 


Interview With Co-Authors Carole & Marie-Claude


1.                  What type of books do you write? Canine Angels is a book of inspirational life stories, which includes 25 stories about people with various health conditions whose quality of life has been improved with the help of assistance dogs. Some of these dogs have even saved the lives of their masters using their skills. We only write books that are inspirational in this way... real life stories.

2.                  What is your latest or upcoming book about? Canine Angels is our first book. In the future, we want to write a book about alternative ways to improve the quality of life of individuals.

3.                  What inspired you to write it? First of all, we love animals and we are dog owners. We started writing a book about dogs saving people’s life in exceptional circumstances. However, during a trip to California, we found out about people who were training dogs for diabetics and they welcomed us with open arms. We did some more research back in Quebec. Stories of people with assistance dogs are truly amazing. We wanted to write a book in a simple language and accessible to all. With this book, our goal is to raise awareness about different types of assistance dogs and, by the same token, we want to inspire people because we’ve met some very special and inspiring individuals along the way.

4.                  What did you do before you became an author? Marie-Claude has been a journalist for 22 years. She writes for medical magazines. She has also been a researcher for TV programs. Carole founded her translation company in 1989. Thanks to an excellent team of translators, she provides translation services in several languages.

5.                  How does it feel to be a published author? Any advice for struggling writers? We are very proud that Canine Angels is published and distributed in Quebec and we are also glad about the interests of many readers and several foundations from all over the world as well as a university in Norway. Our goal is to have our book published in different countries. It takes courage and perseverance to publish a book. It’s not easy. Last year, singer Steve Perry said that you could never give up and always believe in what you want to do. Needless to say, we really enjoyed the Journey!

6.                  Where do you see book publishing heading? Obviously, the book industry is diversifying; there’s the  e-book market which will keep on expanding, the audio book market and there’s also the print market which will have to adapt to this new reality. Let’s not forget about the aging population which might eventually depend on bigger print. There’s a multitude of books for everyone out there.  As long as people are writing, people will be buying those books in whatever format.

For more information, please consult www.canineangels.com  If you love dogs – and people – you will love this book!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s leading book publicity firm. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person

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