Just when you thought literary awards season was over, there were not one but two occasions to get dressed up and applaud great writers and their publications Thursday. They both took place in New York -- meaning we didn’t have to hit the dry cleaner -- but they nevertheless deserve notice.
Dennis Lehane’s “Live By Night” took the top honor -- best novel -- at the Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Lehane is a versatile writer who can set mysteries in the past -- “Live By Night” is about a Prohibition-era rum-runner -- and the present, as well as write for the screen. He won a 2007 Edgar for his work on the television series “The Wire.”
The Edgar for best first novel went to Chris Pavone for “The Expats,” which was also a finalist for an L.A. Times Book Prize this year. The Raven Award, which honors a mystery bookstore that supports the genre, was given to Southern California’s Mysterious Galaxy, which has stores in San Diego and Redondo Beach.
There are more than a dozen Edgar Awards -- the complete list of winners and finalists is online here.
Also Thursday were the Ellies, so-called for the Alexander Calder stabile that is awarded to the winners of the National Magazine Awards. New York was declared magazine of the year; National Geographic took four awards, the Atlantic and Texas Monthly each got two, and New York picked up a second award as well.
The Paris Review was given the top honor for print, general interest in the category of literary, political and professional magazines. The finalists in the category were MIT Technology Review, Mother Jones, the New Republic and Poetry. Other notable wins were Ta-Nahisi Coates’ essay “Fear of a Black President,” which appeared in the Atlantic, and the one fiction prize, which went to Stephen King for “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation,” which ran in Harper’s.