These prizes are like oracles. They promise something like authority, something like justice. They tell you that you’re finally going to know how things stand. Come up here with me and I’ll tell you. Come closer. I’ll tell you what it all means. But what they say never makes sense. You’re left with as many questions as answers, and the same messy feelings you walked in with, wriggling out from under a new clamp.
- Damian Tarnopolsky, reporting from the Amazon.ca First Novel Award gala in his essay "It's Really Hard, Writing a Book", over at Partisan. You can read the whole thing here.