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The Daphne Award: Righting the Wrongs of Book Awards Past

the-favourite-game-cohenThe good folks over at Bookslut have announced plans for a new book award. Dubbed the Daphne Award, it will celebrate the best books of 50 years ago and ‘right the wrongs’ of book awards past.

As an afficionado of old books, I love this idea. And always up for a challenge, I couldn’t resist trying to answer Bookslut’s call for help with their list of nominees and spent some time this week hunting down treasures published in 1963. It was an interesting year in the literary world, with books by some authors who were newcomers at the time but who have since become very familiar – Joyce Carol Oates, John Fowles, Larry McMurtry, Mario Vargas Llosa, to name just a few.

I’m already coveting most of the books on Bookslut’s lists of potential nominees but still managed to find a few more to throw into the mix – and to add to my own wish-list.

Here are just some of the best, overlooked books from 1963.


The Collector by John Fowles
The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov (first English translation published in 1963)
Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry
The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen
La Ciudad y Los Perros (The Time of the Hero) by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Barracks by John McGahern
By the North Gate by Joyce Carol Oates
The Bender by Paul Scott
Visions of Gerard by Jack Kerouac
Inside Daisy Clover by Gavin Lambertself-portrait-ray
Travelling People by B.S. Johnson


Strength to Love by Martin Luther King
Self Portrait by Man Ray
The Presidential Papers by Norman Mailer
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
What is Remembered by Alice B. Toklas
Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof


It Catches My Heart in Its Hands By Charles Bukowskizoo-munari
No Voyage by Mary Oliver
The Rising Fire by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Kids’ Books:

9 Magic Wishes by Shirley Jackson
Bruno Munari’s Zoo
How the Whale Became by Ted Hughes
Hold Fast Your Teeth by Edward Bawden

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