Last weekend was the event called, The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports. It's the Run for the Roses. It's the Kentucky Derby.
Well, perhaps, the announcement of the Ellstrom Award for Literature, 2010, is not the most exciting two minutes in literature, but it is one that I prepare for during the course of a full year. The Derby and the Ellstrom award have two things in common. They both have a great field! By that I don't mean the track, for the Derby track was pretty soggy this year. I mean the "horses" in the running.
I studied the horses that ran in the Derby this year. And then I placed a bet ($6.00) on Paddy O'Prado to win, place, or show. At the end of two minutes, I was $3.40 richer. (Paddy showed.)
During the course of the 2009 year I studied a different, but equally pedegreed, field. And I was far richer for the activity. This field of authors includes some of the very best. (See full list.) The contenders for the award are:
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky on The Brothers Karamazov
- Diane Setterfield on The Thirteenth Tale
- W.E.B. DuBois on The Quest of the Silver Fleece
- Sylvia Plath on The Bell Jar
- Bertoldt Brecht on Mother Courage
- Leo Tolstoy on The Death of Ivan Ilych
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery on The Little Prince
- Kurt Vonnegut on Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Duty Dance with Death
- John Steinbeck on Grapes of Wrath
- Thomas Hardy on Jude the Obscure
- Victor Pelevin on Oman Ra
- Zora Neale Hurston on Seraph on the Suwanee
The also-rans were notable with William Faulkner, Theodore Dreiser, and Joseph Conrad being eliminated at the gate.
So now is the time to place your bets. Which of these stellar authors, new and old, will take the prize, will win the roses?
P.S. To sweeten the pot--for anyone betting on this race who also comes to visit me at my house before I announce the winner of the 2010 Ellstrom Award, I will give you a book from the DeGeorge family library. And, yes, I will inscribe it appropriately!