The National Book Award winners were announced November 18 during a ceremony in New York City. These are probably the major US awards after the Pulitzer Prize, and there are several categories.
The prize for fiction went to Irish author Colum McCann for Let the Great World Spin, which is based on life in New York City in the 1970s. The piece was described as an "indelibly hallucinatory portrait of a decaying city" by judges.
T. J. Stiles wins the non-fiction award for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Keith Waldrop, the poetry award for Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy. Phillip Hoose took the Young People's Literature Prize for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.
Gore Vidal wins an award for distinguished contribution to American letters, while Dave Eggars wins the Literian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
This year there was also a bonus prize to mark the awards' 60th anniversary. The public voted online for the Best of the National Book Awards, and the winner was Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories. Finalists included books by John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Thomas Pynchon and Eudora Welty.
You can find interviews with all these authors and information about the books on the NBF website.