As you may or may not know, Lauren Myracle’s novel Shine was named a finalist for a National Book Award in young adult literature… and then just as quickly un-named. It turned out the foundation had erred, and instead of keeping her novel on the list, asked her to withdraw it. She agreed.
Let the shitstorm commence.
Over here, the wife of Lauren’s agent has a “backstage pass to this travesty.” For the record, do not convey notification of award finalists by telephone. Clearly, it would have been better for the foundation to take a stance and stick with it, as opposed to this back-and-forth of “we’re keeping it” and “we’re adding another” and “would you please withdraw your book” and “here’s a nice donation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation to make up for the fact that we don’t seem to have our act together” (and this is probably the one good thing that has come of this apparent fustercluck). Shine is about a girl who tries to solve an antigay hate crime in her small North Carolina town, so the donation is completely appropriate.
Lauren Myracle’s books, it turns out, are frequently on lists of the most-challenged and most-banned books. Admittedly, I haven’t read any of them. That’s about to change, though. I’ve ordered Shine from my trusty local bookseller (that’s Left Bank Books, by the way; check them out if you’re in the STL) I’m looking forward to reading it, because I like things that most people object to.
And being a bestseller is the best revenge.