Monday, November 23, 2009

The 2009 National Book Award Winners

You can follow Jeff's account of the National Book Awards gala from press row in his running comments to his post earlier tonight, but here's a quick wrapup of the winners, which include, we're thrilled to say, our own choice for the Best Book of 2009, Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann's tender ensemble novel of New York City at the moment of Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. The #nba09 Twitter thread was very long, and the news reports of the awards are rather short so far tonight, but Jeff will be back in the daylight hours with a lengthier first-hand account of the evening.

The winners:

* Fiction: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
* Nonfiction: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles
* Poetry: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy by Keith Waldrop
* Young People's Literature: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

Also, as previously announced, Gore Vidal was honored for his Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (and apparently stole the show with his riffs on FDR and the state of modern publishing) and Dave Eggers won the 2009 Literarian Award. And the results of the public voting for the 60th anniversary Best of the National Book Awards Fiction prize were revealed, with Flannery O'Connor's Complete Stories finishing ahead of five other finalists from the original field of all 77 previous NBA fiction winners.

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