The National Book Awards winners were announced last night. According to the e-mail from PW Daily this morning:

Richard Powers emerged as the Fiction winner for his unusual novel about a 27-year-old truck driver who, after an accident, is sidetracked by a rare disorder that prevents him from matching what he sees with what he thinks. Powers's decidedly ambitious fiction was no less so than the winning titles in Poetry and Young People's Literature. Nathaniel Mackey, a well respected—if not formally lauded—experimental poet, won the top honor for his collection Splay Anthem. And M.T. Anderson won the children's award for The Pox Party: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, a dense 900-page historical novel written in an 18th-century vernacular. Anderson joked in his acceptance speech that he was especially grateful for his publisher, Candlewick, since his isn't the kind of book that screams bestseller in a pitch meeting.

I'm rather disappointed in the choice of the Anderson book. Well, maybe. I'm nearly finished reading it, and it is very well written. But I'm hesitant for it to win awards; it's just not teen friendly. Of course, maybe with it winning the NBA, that'll knock it out of the talk of it pulling in the Newbery or Printz.


Fiction: The Echo Maker by Richard Powers (FSG)

Nonfiction: The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Houghton Mifflin)

Poetry: Splay Anthem by Nathaniel Mackey (New Directions)

Young People's Literature: The Pox Party: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson (Candlewick)


Th. said...


Octavian Nothing is a great name.

Anonymous said...

But think about the difficulties with a last name of "Nothing."

"And your last name?"


"I mean your last name, not your middle name, what's your last name?"

"Nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, that's my name, really."

My last name is a common female first name and I get that all the time. "What's your last name. No, your last name."


eleka nahmen said...

The first one sounds interesting, hesitant as i am to have ANYTHING to do with truck drivers, even in the fictional sense. And it was so great to see you and Dec today-it totally made my afternoon :)