Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 3, 2009

Swallow Me Whole: LA Times Book Prize Nominee In Young Adult Fiction

imageThe good folks at Top Shelf Comix are rightfully fired up by the announcement that Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole was named one of the five finalists in the Young Adult Fiction category for the LA Times Book Prize. That awards program is I think approaching three decades old by now and is one of the few that tends to make it into the first graph of an individual work's publicity presentation.

There are at least three surprising things about the nomination. First, I don't think Top Shelf ever pushed Swallow Me Whole as a young persons' book, although it certainly works that way. Second, Powell isn't exactly a pedigreed author of the kind that you think of when it comes to securing cross-media nominations -- someone like a Satrapi, say. Third, it's the first comics-only book to be nominated in any category since 1992's second Maus book, which won its category that year. While I believe The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian may have received a nomination a couple of years back, at best that was a hybrid work by Sherman Alexie (prose) and Ellen Forney (comics), as opposed to straight-up comics. No matter how you add things up, the nomination is a pleasantly surprising achievement for a fine first major book. I hope it wins.
posted 7:20 am PST | Permalink

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