“Lord of Misrule” Rules!

A pleasure to read in the NYT this morning that in the National Book Awards, Jaimy Gordon won for Lord of Misrule in the fiction category. The Times of course called it “a surprise pick for a book published by McPherson & Company, a small literary publisher in Kingston, N.Y.” Well, many of us have been following what excellent small publishers such as McPherson have been doing for years. The Times goes on: “The novel, about the ruthless world of horse racing in West Virginia, was praised by the judges as a “vivid, memorable and linguistically rich novel. ‘I’m totally unprepared, and I’m totally surprised,’ a stunned-looking Ms. Gordon said in a brief speech.” My eager novel-reading-days are in the main way behind me, but I still remember with great delight coming across Gordon’s Shamp of the City Solo, a true comic masterwork — and ever since she has been one of the few novelists I do try to follow.

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  1. Lord of Misrule
    For poetry, and the art in her heart, Jaimy Gordon found characters that would dance on the edge of razor blades for her. The backstretch of any thoroughbred racetrack is a circus, a concentration of wonderful mad mad human souls. Jaimy Gordon knows them, uses them, and loves them. Her art, her words, her genius, demand we become more sentient readers. James Aitchison

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