National Book Award Winners Announced, Elmore Leonard Receives Special Award

National Book Award Winners Announced

The winners of the 63rd annual National Book awards were announced this morning, chosen from over 1300 books. Louise Erdrich has won the prize for fiction for her work The Round House, a novel about a teenage boy’s effort to investigate a racial attack against his mother on a North Dakota reservation. Erdrich walked away with a cool $10,000, a bronze trophy, and bragging rights. Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers won the nonfiction award for her account of people living in a slum in the shadow of luxury hotels in India.

To round out the other categories, David Ferry's Bewilderment won for poetry while William Alexander's Goblin Secrets snagged the prize for children's literature.

But maybe coolest of all: 86 year-old crime novelist Elmore Leonard was awarded The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Leonard told the Associated Press:

I was very surprised. I didn't ever count on winning this kind of an award. I've won a lot of awards, but not like this one.

Previous recipients of the award include such heavy-weights as Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike, Gore Vidal and Tom Wolfe. So distinguished company, indeed.

Anyone read any of these award winners? And what do you think about Leonard winning his award?

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