Lord of Misrule wins National Book Award

Big win for little Kingston publisher McPherson & Co. last night: Their latest novel, a tale of horse-racing in backwoods Virginia by author Jaimy Gordon, just won the National Book Award for fiction. It's the literary equivalent of the Academy Awards -- and the Washington Post is calling Gordon's win the biggest upset of the night."

NPR's Rachel Syme was there to document the scene -- and it sounds like Gordon was as surprised as the literary prognosticators:

When the announcement was read, the author's table companions shrieked at full volume, and Gordon seemed to be in shock when she finally took the stage. "I'm totally unprepared, and I’m totally surprised," she told the crowd. Later, we observed the author standing alone outside the grand façade of the Cipriani Ballroom on Wall Street in her long red gown, talking quietly into her cell phone: "I won," she said into the receiver, still seeming stunned. "I won ... the National Book Award."

Congratulations to Gordon, and to her tiny publisher, who made a gamble on a big print run, not knowing whether or not Lord of Misrule would bring home the glory. (What are you waiting for, McPherson & Co.? As of this post, their website is still calling Gordon's book a "finalist.")