“When I was younger I went to all kinds of rock concerts,” said Jeffrey Deitch, his silk midnight blue lapels illuminated by candlelight. He was at the Americans for the Arts annual Arts Awards dinner at the lavish Cipriani in Midtown, where artists and patrons annually collect Jeff Koons-designed bunny statues for their services. It’s a little like the art world’s answer to the Oscars, and in a nice change of pace, blues legend B.B. King was set to receive the Isabella and Theodore Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award. “I remember seeing him at an outdoor concert in the middle of an open field in Massachusetts,” Mr. Deitch continued. “It was a whole field of hippies. He was phenomenal. Everyone loved it.” Read More
Square footage was the first thing on our minds when we walked into REBNY’s Residential Deal of the Year Awards. The Metropolitan Pavilion space was so cavernous that despite a sizable crowd of brokers chatting over cocktails it still felt oddly empty, with a cold draft drifting in from the entrance. Nor did the flickering candles grouped on the tables contribute much warmth or intimacy, but we appreciated the gesture—a nice reminder that we were among those who sold residential real estate for a living.
Shivering, The Observer walked into the scrum of darkly-clad revelers and found ourselves standing next to Halstead president Diane Ramirez. She planted a kiss in the air some ten inches to the left of our cheek and encouraged us to buy raffle tickets in support of REBNY’s “residential member in need fund.” The charity was the real point of the evening, she told us, gentling nudging us toward the table before flitting off. Read More
Recipients of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship — known as the “genius grants”–were announced today. The award cannot be applied for and recipients don’t know they being considered for it until they win. Novelist Junot Diaz was one of this year’s winners. He described the experience in an expletive-filled interview with The Observer this evening.
“It’s like finding the fucking golden ticket,” Mr. Diaz said. “It’s like finding an extra bedroom in your New York studio apartment.” Read More
For the first time since 1977, no Pulitzer Prize was awarded for fiction at the 96th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, announced at Columbia University Monday afternoon. The unworthy finalists were Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s Swamplandia, and the late David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.
The fiction jurors nominating the books were former Times-Picayune book editor Susan Larson, “Fresh Air” book critic Maureen Corrigan and Michael Cunningham, author of the Pulitzer-winning novel The Hours. It was the board’s decision not to award the prize.
The Pulitzer website says that according to The Plan of Award, “If in any year all the competitors in any category shall fall below the standard of excellence fixed by The Pulitzer Prize Board, the amount of such prize or prizes may be withheld.”
Also stiffed was editorial writing, whose finalists were Bloomberg News, for its European debt crisis writing; Tampa Bay Times, for its coverage of Florida Governor Rick Scott; and Burlington Free Press, for a campaign that resulted in open government reform.
24-year-old Sara Ganim, who broke the Penn State sex abuse scandal, won the local reporting prize along with members of Harrisburg, Pa.’s Patriot-News.
The Huffington Post took home its first award, for David Wood’s National Reporting. (There was indeed champagne in New York, though in D.C. they had Natty Light.) Five-year-old POLITICO also won its first Pulitzer, for editorial cartooning. The Associated Press’s NYPD team won the investigative reporting prize (as did The Seattle Times), and the late Manning Marable won the history prize for Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.
More categories with winners below. Read More
With this past weekend’s Grammys, producer Scott Rudin became the latest entertainer to earn the ugly, ineffective title of “EGOT”–having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. (His new Grammy was for The Book of Mormon.) He’s one of only eleven such winners–and the first in a decade. We demand yet Read More
Word has it that, in light of its bankruptcy filing, Kodak is attempting to get out of its naming-rights deal with the home of the Academy Awards. This is incredible news! What movies are shot on film these days, anyhow? This is a great chance to get the theater named after a thematically appropriate company! Here are some suggestions for companies the Academy should get on the phone to ensure both funding and an on-trend name! Read More
We’ve already mentioned during the Golden Globes this year that Hollywood seems to be in retrograde. Giving awards to Madonna, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Jessica Lange is just so 2002. But we also noted that the actors themselves seem to be going into a kind of time-warp, none of which was more apparent than at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards: Read More
The most likely, of last night’s awards, to an awards-show junkie in 2002 imagining the hazy future:
1. Meryl Streep. Sure! Bet the speech was great.
2. Christopher Plummer. Glad he’s still around!
3. Martin Scorsese. He deserves some recognition!
4. George Clooney. Did he win for playing Cary Grant?
Middling likelihood–not impossible to imagine, Read More
The Guardian has announced the shortlist for its annual award for the best first book. This year’s list includes former New York Times reporter Amy Waldman’s novel The Submission and Columbia University professor Siddhartha Mukherjee’s history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, which came out in the U.S. last year and has already won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. Read More
A 48-year-old biology teacher from Lyon, Alexis Jenni, has won France’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt, for his novel The French Art of War. According to news reports, Mr. Jenni writes on the weekends and while this novel was his third completed manuscript it was the first to get published.
“A journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria and at home, Jenni’s 600-page novel is told through the eyes of Victorien Salagnon, a war veteran who becomes a painter, and the young man he teaches to paint in exchange for writing his story,” reports the Guardian. Read More