Critical Hit Awards: Hello, Nina

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Slate’s Dan Kois picks his winners in the latest edition of the Critical Hit Awards.

Electric Literature: If your reviews carried no identifying marks—no Slate logo, no byline—would a reader be able to guess that they came from the Slate Book Review? Should they be able to?

Dan Kois: Every review I edit contains hidden within its text the name of my daughter, Nina.

Electric Literature: ‘Critical Hit Awards’ is really just an anagram for ‘Rad Satirical Witch’. What kind of editorial balance do you try to bring to the Slate Book Review overall? Balance between what and what?

Dan Kois: I’m looking to achieve a balance between old and new books; books from big houses and books from small ones; traditional reviewy reviews and critical essays that use the book as a diving board. And I want a balance of fun books and serious books and great books and not-so-great books.

Electric Literature: You have reviewed books, movies, graphic novels, and music. There’s a guy at The Awl who reviews the weather and a guy at The Rumpus who reviews the world. Is there anything that can’t be reviewed? Anything that you would not review?

Dan Kois: I imagine anything can be reviewed. When was the last time your fellow human beings didn’t have an opinion about something?

Read the full Q&A and check out Dan’s winners here.

– Brian Hurley

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