Uncategorized | November 20, 2004

With interest in the National Book Awards higher than usual this year, thanks to a small literary controversy and the suprise nomination of the 9/11 Commision Report in the catagory of non-fiction, the National Book Foundation announced the winners of it annual awards this past week. In fiction, Lily Tuck won for her novel, The News From Paraguay (HarperCollins), the fictionalized tale of Paraguayan leader Francisco Solano Lopez and his Irish mistress, Ella Lynch. All five fiction finalists were written by women who live in New York and none had received much attention–critical or popular–prior to be announced as finalists. Kevin Boyle’s Arc of Justice (Henry Holt), which focuses on a black family’s fight to live in a white Detroit neighborhood in the 1920s, won for non-fiction, topping the 9/11 Commission Report, a work which, despite being written by committee and despite the nature of its task, has received great praise for its literary qualities. Jean Valentine’s Door in the Mountain (Wesleyan UP) won for poetry.