Thursday, July 24, 2008
How short should a shortlist be?
Our friends across the pond have been getting worked up over their biggest book awards of the year, the Montana Awards. The problem is the shortlist—it’s too short! The judges only chose four novels for the fiction shortlist instead of the usual five, with one saying that ‘while there were other great books, we did not want to dilute the Montana (finalist) sticker by promoting a fifth.’ The pundits were outraged and newspaper articles, blog posts, and live radio interviews on national radio followed, suggesting many well-received novels that they thought should have been contenders. There was even talk of a defamation suit at one point! Isn’t it nice to see such passion? I can’t recall a good stoush about the shortlist for an Australian literary award for years.