Cue the eye rolls from everyone reading. James Patterson will be given the Innovator’s Award at the 36th LA Times Book Prizes this year. Now these awards aren’t exactly on par with winning a Pulitzer or Nobel or National Book Award, but I imagine any author nominated would be extremely proud and satisfied.
The people behind these awards likely know books and writing better than the average reader. Which is why I think people should take note when things like this happen. Everyone wants to make Patterson out to be this bad guy in publishing. But no one thinks about how many millions of kids are reading his young adult series. No one thinks about how many kids had no interest in reading before picking up one of his books. All everyone sees is money, and that’s just ridiculous.
I know some people will find this news to be laughable, but I don’t. I think he’s highly deserving. He gets kids reading. There’s no denying it.
What do you think of Patterson being honored by the LA Times?
I know many people bash awards all the time because they never seem to get it right or because there’s some kind of agenda at play. But why can’t it be that sometimes the recipients of these awards are deserving? Why is that so hard to believe?
The Nobel Prize for Literature was announced yesterday. And I’ll admit that I didn’t know the recipient off the top of my head. So what did I do? I read about her. No, not Wikipedia. I read what respectable news organizations had to say about this woman who had just won the top literary prize there is. And based on what I’ve read she absolutely deserves it. All of the authors being considered deserved it. But you can’t slice up the award and give it out in fifths.
Svetlana Alexievich is a journalist who also writes books. Yes, they’re nonfiction. But honestly, someone who feels strongly that she shouldn’t be considered for an award for “literature” has probably never written anything longer than a tweet. I’m finding through my own reading that true stories are just as entertaining and thought-provoking as fiction.
Are you familiar with her work? Have any thoughts on a nonfiction author winning this award?