Friday, August 1, 2008

Sometimes It’s Better Not to Win

As reported in the Wales Online, Assembly heritage minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas accidentally anointed Tom Bullough as the winner of the 2008 Wales Book of the Year Award for his novel The Claude Glass. It turns out, however, that Bullough is only the runner-up for the award, and the actual winner is poet Dannie Abse.

Although the mistake has been labeled a “national embarrassment,” Bullough is profiting handsomely. Since the mis-announcement, sales of The Claude Glass have skyrocketed. Elwyn Jones, head of public relations at the Welsh Books Council, comments: “The publicity hasn’t done Tom Bullough any harm. … Everybody felt sorry for him. It was almost a way of showing support for him that people wanted to read his book.”

Bullough responds, “The Book of the Year event was out-and-out the worst night of my life. But it happened, there’s nothing I can do about it; so if it got a few more people reading The Claude Glass then at least something positive has come out of the whole affair. The book was, after all, what this was supposed to be about in the first place.”

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