The 2010 National Book Awards Live Blog

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

8:10 Master of Ceremonies Andy Borowitz from The New Yorker is on stage and making jokes. He just called eBooks the bastard cousin of the book and he compared publishing to a Carnival Cruise Ship. “It is on fire. The toilets don’t work. And we are surviving day to day on poptarts and spam.”

8:14 John Escott is on stage to present the The Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Elmo has joined him on stage. The winner is Joan Ganz Cooney, the creator of Sesame Street.

8:21 Cooney thanks the literary community for “saving civilization” and says that no game experience can replicate the experience of having someone read to a child.

8:24 Tina Brown is now taking the stage after Andy Borowitz just called The Daily Beast/Newsweek merger “Weak Beast.”

8:28 Brown just presented the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters award to Tom Wolfe.

8:34 Tom Wolfe got his start writing obituaries for a small town newspaper. He came to New York on the last bus out of town with a bunch of misfits. He is telling his life story, in what has promised would be 6 minutes, but the clock is ticking.

8:40 Tom Wolfe is singing The Girl From Ipanema and talking about his first newspaper assignment in New York interviewing a mobster.

8:44 Tom Wolfe jumped from gangsters to Ken Kesey and hippies. “We are in an age where you can’t make this stuff up.” Um, nope.

8:46 Now he isreminiscing about The Black Panthers.

8:47 And now he is talking about Sinclair Lewis. Who wrote about how to write and said, “First sit down.” Tom Wolfe would like to add, “First leave the building.”

8:49 Dinner is being served as we await the 2010 Award Winners.