Quick Links: Talumpati | Licensed Librarians | Filipiniana Online | Stereotypes | Leadership | The Philippines

I Shook Hands With a Nobel Prize Winner

Today, Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize winner in Literature 1991, offered me her hand and I shook it.

UPDATE: Another blogger wrote about Gordimer's reply to my question =)

The occasion was the reception held after a discussion on "The Book As Prize." The "prize" was the Man Booker International Prize, and the "speakers" were the judges for 2007: Gordimer, Colm Tóibín, and Elaine Showalter. Earlier in the day, they had announced the names of 15 authors who made it to the Judges’ List of Contenders.

At the discussion, I learned that Toronto has the highest concentration of authors per square centimeter. And so, as someone suggested, it was not surprising that three of the 15 authors on the list were Canadians. In fact, two of them were there tonight: Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood. (Alice Munro was the third.) And I was actually talking to Gordimer when Atwood joined us!

It gets better. Gordimer actually remembered me because of the question I asked at the discussion earlier. There were probably 200 people, and I was one of about ten who was able to ask a question. And she said that the discussion we had was much better than the press conference earlier that day, which according to her was "feeble."

But before that, Toibin recognized me, too. He said that I was the one who asked the question about good-looking authors. Well, I had to say that my question was about how they would decide on the winner when they were down to the final two. Would the deciding factor be the more original one, the one who made less money, got less attention, suffered more...? And then I realized he was joking. Yes, I should have added, "more good-looking" =)

I should add that there were other authors around, except that their names weren't familiar to me. But I did sit next to and talked to Vincent Lam, who just won the Giller Prize, an award that Atwood, Ondaatje and Munro had won before.

By the way, in case you're wondering what the big deal is, no, these people are not my favorite authors. It's just that I'm a librarian, and the best thing that anyone can do, for me, is write a good book.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...