Winners of the National Book Awards Announced

November 16, 2018

Covers of winning books

On November 14, 2018, at a ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, the winners of the National Book Awards were announced in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translated, and young people’s literature. The evening’s events were hosted by the actor Nick Offerman, who commented that "in our inexorable pursuit of freedom and human rights, books serve us as weapons and also as shields."

Novelist Sigrid Nunez won for her latest work, The Friend, which the judges, in their citation, called “an exquisitely written and deeply humane exploration of grief, literature and memory.” The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart, which “renders the tangled knot of art, sexuality and yearning for liberation that propelled Locke’s work,” as the New York Times described, won the nonfiction prize. Justin Phillip Reed’s debut collection Indecency won the poetry prize for its “formally explosive” work. Elizabeth Acevedo, whose novel The Poet X chronicles a young girl from Harlem who discovers the power of slam poetry, was awarded the prize for young people’s literature. And The Emissary by Yoko Tawada, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani, was awarded the inaugural award for translated literature.

The National Book Awards are given to celebrate the most exceptional works from the previous year. Each awardee receives $10,000. Last year’s winners were Frank Bidart, Jesmyn Ward, Masha Gessen, and Robin Benway.


Image Credits: HarperTeen, Oxford University Press, Riverhead, Coffee House, and New Directions

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