The 65th annual National Book Awards were held on Wednesday, rewarding the greatest literary works of the past year. The National Book Foundation hosted the award ceremony, presenting high literary nods to authors in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Novelist and children’s author Daniel Handler hosted the ceremony.
Early in the night, the National Book Foundation presented Kyle Zimmer, the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit First Book, with the Literarian Award, awarded to those who seek to expand access to book and literature. According to the Foundation, First Book has provided 120 million books to low-income kids and families in Canada and the U.S.
Renowned science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin was presented with the foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for her “exceptional impact on this country’s literary heritage.” During her remarks, Le Guin called for authors and writers to remember the value of their art.
“‘I have had a long career,” Le Guin said. “I really don’t want to watch American Literature get sold down the river.”
Nonfiction Winner: Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Fiction Winner: Phil Klay, Redeployment (The Penguin Press/ Penguin Group (USA))
Poetry Winner: Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Young People’s Literature: Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Group (USA))