In 1992, Michael Ondaatje won Britain's top literary prize, the Booker, for "The English Patient." But he didn't win it alone -- he shared the prize with Barry Unsworth's "Sacred Hunger," an involving novel about the British slave trade in the 1700s. The author's death last week brought the epic to my attention for the first time, a masterpiece likely unknown to many of us. Here's what we've been missing.
There are 13 fiction writers among the 180 Guggenheim Foundation grants recently announced for 2010. I recognized some of the authors but not all and then wondered what it means for readers considering a book by an author who's a Guggenheim Fellow.