Critical Linking: November 13, 2012

The ceremony — held at a Marriott in Midtown until a few years ago — will be at the cavernously ornate Cipriani Wall Street. There will be an Oscar-style red carpet inside the ballroom to welcome celebrity guests like the former teen-actress-turned-author Molly Ringwald. Inside, a Brooklyn D. J. named Rabbi Darkside will be spinning the tunes.

These aren’t your father’s National Book Awards. Whose they actually are remains to be seen.


Perhaps I am being irrational and sentimental because only last year my real father passed away, but it is hard to imagine a long, happy senescence for Philip Roth. His announcement has the whiff of mortality to it.

Roth doesn’t strike me as the mai-tai and shuffleboard type either.


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My father was definitely a man dealing with trauma. This is a man who was carrying the weight of something…not even his wife understood.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that has read Slaughterhouse-5 that Vonnegut was a tortured man. Great man to be a fan of, hard man to be a child of.

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