Seth Lerer wins the NBCC
We have a winner. The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of their 2008 awards today and we are happy to congratulate Seth Lerer on his win in the criticism category for Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter.
A few days ago NBCC board member Carlin Romano described, in a posting to Critical Mass, the achievements of the book and the fairy-tale-like spell it cast on the committee:
Lerer brought to his subject both the critical acuity and unlimited openness it deserved. He insisted on placing a complex literature within the history of childhood, a story both contested and blessedly clear. He took into account the cavalcade of publishing history, without permitting it to trample the imaginative “transformations” wrought by the books. He understood that his terrain included not just books written for children, but books read by them, driving home the critical spine signaled by his subtitle.
Lerer accomplished much else in his fairy-tale feat of levitating a University of Chicago Press study, despite its small type, to a possible national prize from critics beleaguered by eye strain.… Members of the NBCC Board swallowed whole this splendid meditation on the literature that changes us most, and lived happily ever after.
Our warmest congratulations to Seth Lerer.
Read an excerpt from the book.