Michael Cunningham presented the award to Joan Didion, and I have no idea what he said because he nearly put me to sleep. After Joan Didion gave her acceptance speech, Ira Glass awarded Terry Gross The 2007 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
During all the speech-making, I started receiving text messages and a phone call from one of my old educational publishing cronies. She just happens to be in town for NCTE and—major, major coincidence—was just one floor above me in the New York Marriott Marquis.
As the authors took a break from the ceremonies to eat their dinner, I ran upstairs for a quick hello. The educational book world hasn't changed much. During my brief visit, I got to hear about a conference, be present as a cell call came in about a $1 million adoption, and catch up on some gossip about which book giant just bought which other book giant. And she pointed out Justin Timberlake, who happened to be up on the 9th floor at a private party.
Afterwards, Levi joined me outside for a cigarette break. An author, whose work I love, who also happens to be one of the judges for the best fiction novel, was outside smoking a cigarette. Of course, I had to introduce myself. In conversing, this judge happened to mention a few vague details about the winner and now Levi and I think we figured out who it is. I'm not going to give it away, but now I can't wait for the announcement so we can find out if we're right.