Two of the most controversial books of 2007 have been ejected from the competition
O. J. Simpson’s If I Did It might be the most loathsome book in the history of publishing, but it’s been disqualified from the 2008 Delete Key Awards contest, which recognizes the year’s worst writing in books. One-Minute Book Reviews said last weekend that the book had been ruled ineligible because it would be cruel to the other finalists to mention them in the same breath with this purportedly “hypothetical” account of the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.
Another controversial book, Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone, was disqualified today for different reasons. The Delete Key Awards don’t recognize the “worst books” of the year but specific examples of bad writing, such as cliché-infested sentences or paragraphs. And the Australian, the Australian national newspaper, has raised such serious questions about the credibility of Beah’s entire account that to single out one or two sentences would distract attention from those larger issues. A Long Way Gone doesn’t need a Delete Key Award – it needs a segment on Sixty Minutes.
The first Delete Key finalist will be named by 10 a.m. today with others announced throughout the day.
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.