After the unfortunate National Book Awards debacle yesterday — in which Shine’s Lauren Myracle withdrew her title due to a mix-up on behalf of the foundation — Vanity Fair sat down with the young adult author to get her side of the story. She described the experience ” … like any bad breakup … ” and feels “humbled” by the community outpouring of support (see: Twitter’s #isupportshine). Even though executive director Harold Augenbraum was “diplomatic” and a “darling” about the entire episode, the news obviously hit Myracle right in the gut.
“I felt embarrassed, and ashamed that I had the gall to believe that this book was worthy. So over the weekend came the question of, Do I withdraw, or do I let them strip it from me? I first thought: They made the mistake; they can clean it up. Then I realized that I had a chance to either be classy or be seen as someone gripping with white knuckles to something they didn’t want me to have.”
As an apology and show of good faith, the National Book Foundation did donate $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation as Shine’s story revolves around a gay hate crime. Myracle doesn’t feel that the awards drama has anything to do with her story’s tough subject matter, because ” … it’s ultimately a novel about love, and redemption, and tolerance — [even though] you gotta go through some mud to get there.” Find out what’s next for the author by skipping over to Vanity Fair for the full interview. Did the National Book Foundation handle things as best they could?