National Book Award's Harold Augenbraum Live, November 16, on WordSmitten Broadcast Launching Literature's Holy Grail

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Alfred Nobel might be spinning unrestrained from his grave over Harold Augenbraum's retort to Swedish judges who shun American literature. Providing the Swedish panel with a remedy for years of rejection, Augenbraum offers to send Nobel Prize committee members a letter of enlightenment. A long reading list of American authors' books. On Sunday, November 16, National Book Foundation (NBF) executive director Harold Augenbraum discusses his vision for the NBF and America's National Book Awards (US literature's Holy Grail) on the WordSmitten "About the Books" program. Tune in to the fun. Tune in to on at 4:00 PM EST, Sunday, November 16.

With a pithy comment to Swedish committee members responsible for the venerable award known as The Nobel Prize in Literature, Harold Augenbraum announced he was mad and was not going to take it anymore.

Sunday, November 16, on the WordSmitten broadcast, this feisty leader of American literati discusses fresh ideas he brings to the National Book Foundation.

Recently named as Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Augenbraum had been a distinguished director of The Mercantile Library since 1990 and succeeded Neil Baldwin at the NBF.

This week kicks off a celebration of literature, authors, avid readers, and book enthusiasts sponsored annually by the NBF. Winners are announced at the 59th National Book Awards on November 19 in New York City.

During his fourteen years at the Mercantile Library, Augenbraum established the Center for World Literature, The Proust Society of America, the New York Mystery Festival, and the Fadiman Medal for Literature.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Council for the Humanities. The recipient of many significant grants and awards, Augenbraum has directed such literary projects as "Bard of the People: John Steinbeck and His World" for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Finalists for the 2008 National Book Awards include (for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry categories):

Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead)
Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba (Scribner)
Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library)
Marilynne Robinson, Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Salvatore Scibona, The End (Graywolf Press)

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf)
Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company)
Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday)
Jim Sheeler, Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives (The Penguin Press)
Joan Wickersham, The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order (Harcourt)

Frank Bidart, Watching the Spring Festival (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Mark Doty, Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (HarperCollins)
Reginald Gibbons, Creatures of a Day (Louisiana State University Press)
Richard Howard, Without Saying (Turtle Point Press)
Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press)

The WordSmitten Weekly Broadcast ("About the Books") is a live podcast, airing each Sunday afternoon on Internet radio station BlogTalkRadio, based in New York City.

A call-in number, (347) 945-6886, will connect listeners to the broadcast on Sunday, November 16, from 4 P.M. to 5 P.M. on the live show. Visit for details.

WordSmitten Media, Inc. is a gateway for professional writers, educators, avid readers, and book publishing executives, providing revealing and informative interviews about the people, the books, and the business of writing since 1999.


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