Book News: American Values, Serial Killers, Lolita and Lesbian Sex

Matthieson, Gordon-Reed win NBAs: National Book Awards were announced last night, and the honorees are Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Matthiessen. Gordon-Reed won in the nonfiction category for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, a biography of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves (including Sally, his rumored scandalous lover). Matthiesson is a second-time NBA winner (in 1979 he won for The Snow Leopard), bringing in the fiction prize for Shadow Country, based on the life of a 19th-century farmer-cum-serial killer.

There was controversy over whether it should be elligible to compete as it’s a one-volume compilation of three novels that Matthiessen previously published. [NYT]

Joe the Plumber now Joe the Writer: Joe the Plumber’s quick rise to fame has already landed him a book deal. Also known as Samuel Wurzelbacher, the McCain advocate will work with writer Thomas Tabback (Things Forgotten) to address “American values” in Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream out December 1st. [NYT]

Secret Sontag diaries to be published: Four years after Susan Sontag’s death, her son is publishing her diaries in three installments. The first, Early Diaries, 1947-1964, will be out in January. The diaries are rumored to reveal aspects of her life that the writer/political activist kept secret, like deets about her lesbian tendencies and hot sexual encounters. [Independent]

More details on sexier Lolita: Earlier this year, Vladimir Nabokov’s son Dmitri decided to publish his father’s unpublished Original of Laura, a mysterious novel he wrote on index cards and told his son to destroy. Yesterday, Dmitri divulged some more details about the plot, saying that the novel might read like a more sexually explicit Lolita. He also confirmed that it will be published next year. [Independent]

Release date set for lost Puzo novel: Mario Puzo’s long-lost novel Six Graves to Munich will be published next May. Puzo wrote the mysterious WWII novel a year before The Godfather launched him into the spotlight. Previously it had only been released under his “Mario Cleri” pseudonym, but it will be published under his own name this time. [Bookseller]