Shortlisted for prestigious literary award!

Glory, it has been said, may come in many guises. It seems I have (at last) a decent (1 in 6) shot at literary honor, as my book The large sieve and its applications has been shortlisted for the Diagram Prize (see also the earlier pre-shortlist announcement).

One may quibble that being in the running for the award more fully known as “Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year” is no guarantee of literary quality, but still, I’m sure the book will sell better if Cambridge University Press decides to adorn it with a nice sticker Shortlisted for the Diagram Prize 2009 — after all, many are those who would think this is a prize for mathematical books (what are diagrams for, after all?) I wonder how ethical it would be to mention this in my CV, if I similarly omit the full name of the prize…

In any case, after I cast my vote online, the browser displayed the current state of the poll, and it seems I will be a long shot (if I had no personal interest, I would probably have voted for The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais, where the wonderful language switch is hard to beat — although this seems to be aimed at the cognoscenti, with a price of 795$). Maybe I would have a better chance if the subtitle was included in mine, actually (this being, I recall, Arithmetic geometry, random walks and discrete groups).

(Thanks to K. Khuri-Makdisi for pointing this out).

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I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

5 thoughts on “Shortlisted for prestigious literary award!”

  1. Ah! I remember reading that article in the New York Times when it was published…

    Well, if he wins, I’ll just say it’s not quite cricket.

  2. Hi Emmanuel,

    Well, congrats, I guess. Now I am also considering updating my CV with the fact that part of my PhD Thesis involved working on a theory developed in one of the six books with the oddest titles of 2008.
    I keep my fingers crossed until the contest is over, although, as you well guessed, the “Fromage Frais” book already seems to be in good shape for the final victory (at least, last time I checked).

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