Robin Black Essay

Novelist and short-story writer Robin Black (If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This; Life Drawing) has penned a provocative piece for The New York Times in which she argues that literary prizes should not so often be age-based (i.e., geared to the young). I was tickled to find myself mentioned there, along with Edith Pearlman and Rachel Cantor (nice company!), for being a writer who only "emerged" after the age of forty. I would add my own opinion that both writers and the literary community could benefit from more prestigious prizes being given for novels that are not first novels. (For instance, PEN has no general award for "later" fiction, only debuts.)