Basketball? Book fans know the true March match-up happens at the Tournament of Books, where various titles go up against one another bracket-style.
This year’s Tournament of Books recently concluded and Emily St. John Mandel’s much-praised novel “Station Eleven” was the ultimate winner.
As we previously reported, the Tournament of Books was created by the online magazine The Morning News. The contest is intended to determine which is the best fiction book released the previous year. According to the Tournament of Books website, there are 16 judges and every weekday in March, one of the judges – who has read two of the 16 nominated books – selects which one will proceed.
Other contenders this year included “The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell, “The Paying Guests” by Sarah Waters, and “Redeployment” by Phil Klay.
All 16 judges plus one reader (to serve as a tie-breaker, if necessary) participate in the final match-up and “Station” won handily, winning 15 votes to the two received by Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See.”
And what does the winning author receive? According to the Tournament of Books website, the prize is titled the Rooster and the “author will be threatened with the presentation of a live he-hen.”
Kevin Guilfoile of The Morning News wrote on the tournament website that the only writer to accept the rooster was author Adam Johnson. Unfortunately, “I think the particular zoning laws in the arrondissement where Adam lives prohibited us from actually delivering it to him,” Guilfoile wrote.