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WORD: Emily St. John Mandel takes Indie Booksellers' Choice Award

Emily MandelEmily St. John Mandel (pictured left) was one of the winners at the first annual Indie Booksellers' Choice Awards, presented in a standing-room only ceremony that was recently hosted by comedian David Rees at the Housing Works Bookstore in New York City. Mandel, one of today's most talented emerging novelists, took an IBCA for her sophomore novel "The Singer's Gun" (Unbridled Books).

Co-sponsored by indie publisher Melville House and the industry trade publication Shelf Awareness, five favorite books published by independent publishers were selected by independent bookseller across the nation to be displayed in participating stores.

"The award grew out of my distaste for most literary prizes," said Melville House's Dennis Johnson. "The point is usually to laud some individual or book that doesn't really need the stroking. We wanted to come up with something that would better support the ecosystem we live in. The IBCA is good for the author, good for the bookseller, and good for the publisher, and so it's good for art and industry."

The Singer's Gun tells the story of Anton, a successful middle manager in New York City whose life disintegrates after a routine background check discovers false accolades and diplomas. Mandel's first novel, Last Night in Montreal, was among the most critically acclaimed debuts of 2009. Her short fiction will appear in "Venice Noir," an anthology forthcoming from Akashic Books in 2012.

The awards, handed out by Rees and New York Times book reporter Julie Bosman, went to:

Paolo Bacigalupi for The Windup Girl (Night Shade Books)
Adam Levin for The Instructions by (McSweeney's)
Emily St. John Mandel for The Singer's Gun (Unbridled)
Karl Marlantes for Matterhorn (Grove/Atlantic)
Nina Revoyr for Wingshooters (Akashic)

Click here to learn more about Indie Booksellers' Choice Awards. Emily St. John Mandel has a website and is at Facebook.


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