Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Elena Poniatowska Wins Cervantes Prize

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world, the 2013 Cervantes Prize, has been awarded to Elena Poniatowska. The 82-year-old has published many novels, children’s books as well as nonfiction, including La Noche de Tlatelolco, (The Night of Tlatelolco), an oral history of the 1968  massacre of student protesters in Mexico City, which was the first account to challenge the official version of events that night, and implicated army troops in the killing. Both she and her publisher received death threats when it was released, notes the L.A. Times.

More on the awards ceremony in Madrid here.

Tartt Wins Pulitzer

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The GoldfinchCapping a string of best books of the year picks, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) won the Pulitzer Prize, announced yesterday.

The Pulitzers could be termed the Newbery/Caldecotts of adult book awards, having an immediate, and lasting,  effect on sales. All the winners moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, most stunningly, the poetry winner which rose from # 821,844 to #337. Even the fiction winner, which had already been high on the list, rose from #35 to #4.

The other winners in the books categories are:


Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. (W. W. Norton) —  also a National Book Award finalist. The author won a Pulitzer in 1996 for William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic.


Megan Marshall,  Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. (HMH) — chosen as one of 100 notable books of the year by the NYT Book Review and on NYT daily critic Dwight Garner‘s list of his 10 favorite books of the year. A trade paperback edition was released in March (HMH/Mariner).

General Nonfiction

Dan Fagin, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, (RH/Bantam; BOT) —  on NPR’s best books list, it was also picked by Kirkus.


Vijay Seshadri, 3 Sections,  (Graywolf Press) — The nonprofit Graywolf Press, which has published an impressive number of award winners, is now in its 40th year. The woman who heads the company is profiled here (via Publishers Marketplace).

LIBRARYREADS for April — A.J. FIKRY is #1

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The growing excitement about The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin) has been quantified; it’s the #1 pick for the April LibraryReads list as well as #1 on the IndieNext list. The annotation makes it clear why:


“A middle-aged bookseller mourning his lost wife, a feisty publisher’s rep, and a charmingly precocious abandoned child come together on a small island off the New England coast in this utterly delightful novel of love and second chances.”

Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Also on both lists is Emma Dongohue’s Frog Music, (Hachette/Little Brown), which may surprise fans who came to the author via the wrenching contemporary novel, Room, as this one is a historical novel. Diane Scholl of Batavia [Il) Public library says it is “based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross-dressing frog catcher with a mysterious past. Set in 1870s San Francisco, this brilliant book includes impeccable historical details, from a smallpox epidemic to period songs.”

The Intern's HandbookA thriller with a great title and clever cover (click on the cover an it to get a closer look at the skull; can’t wait to see it as a tattoo), The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn (Simon and Schuster), is also featured on both list. Nancy Russell, Columbus [OH} Metro Library, says it manages to be both “funny and romantic, too! In a totally quirky way, of course. You have to read it to believe it.”

Many of the April titles are available as e-galleys on Edelweiss and/or NetGally until publication date. Those of you going to PLA can also check for print galleys at the publishers’ booths.

Oscar’s Favorite Books

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Just one movie adapted from a book won in the top six Oscar categories, but it won big. 12 Years a Slave was named Best Picture and Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress. It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Director McQueen’s speech included a shout-out to the woman who made sure Solomon Northup’s story wasn’t forgotten; “I’d like to thank this amazing historian, Sue Eakin … she gave her life’s work to preserving Solomon’s book.”  Eaken is no longer alive, but her son, Frank, was a guest of the director at the film’s premiere. He also produced an audio of the book narrated by  Louis Gossett Jr. (Blackstone).

McQueen spoke about the book on last week’s CBS Sunday Morning:

The only other adaptation to win awards was The Great Gatsby, which won for both Best Costume and Best Production Design.

Darlene Love, one of the subjects of 20 Feet From Stardom, received a standing ovation after she sang her acceptance for Best Documentary. Love’s 1998 autobiography, My Name Is Love: The Darlene Love Story, (re-released in trade paperback last year by HarperCollins/Morrow), has been acquired by OWN for a television movie.

The EarlyWord Oscars

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The Academy Awards, (aka, the “Newbery/Caldecotts of the film business” ), will be announced on Sunday.

With so many book adaptations in the running, rather than join the predictions game, we’ve decided to create our own EarlyWord Awards.

Movie That Created A Classic  12 Years a Slave 

12 Years a SlaveDirector Steve McQueen exaggerates when he claims  the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup that his movie is based on was “lost for 150 years.” McQueen, who is nominated for Best Director, owes a debt to a 12-year-old girl, Sue Eakin, who came across an old copy of it in the 1930’s and made it her life’s work to bring it back into print. Since it was republished in 1968 through LSU Press, it has been released in several editions and has continued in print due to college adoptions. The movie has brought unprecedented awareness, however, and the book is now also being picked up by high schools.

Movie That Made a Bestseller of A Classic The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, 1925  The Great Gatsby

This could also be called the movie that made publishers rethink tie-ins, since the sales of copies with the original cover outstripped those that feature the movie art.

Not only did director Baz Luhrman’s movie, which is nominated only for Best Costume and Best Production Design, put F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel onto best seller lists (which, to Fitzgerald’s vast disappointment, didn’t happen in his own day), it even inspired Stephen Colbert to go all Oprah and begin his own book club, which included a discussion led by Jennifer Egan.

That magic did not happen for other classics made into movies this year. William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (movie by James Franco) and Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (movie starring Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård and Steve Coogan) did not lead to best seller status for those books.

Movie That Brought A Book To The U.S. For The First Time — Philomena

51oSRzF+TBL   Philomena

Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), this movie is up for an Oscar for Best Picture. It is also nominated for Best Actress for star Judi Dench who plays Philomena Lee, an Irish woman forced as a teenager to give her child up for adoption. Originally published in the U.K. in 2010 as The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, it was published for the first time in the U.S. this year as a trade paperback tie-in, titled Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search  (Penguin), with a foreword by Dench.

And, a special award for:

Most Bookish Actress Jennifer Lawrence

From Winter’s Bone, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, for which she was nominated in 2011 as Best Actress, to the as-yet-unreleased Serena, based on the novel by Ron Rash, Lawrence has appeared in many book adaptations.

This year, she is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle, based on the nonfiction title, The Sting Man: Inside Abscam by Robert W. Greene. The movie is sure to win at least one award, since it is nominated in every major category (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, as well as Best Supporting Actress).

On to the real Oscars and may the best books win.

LibraryReads: March List

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The March Library Reads list shows a lot of librarian love for the mystery and suspense categories, beginning with the number one title:

The Weight of Blook

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh (RH/Spiegel & Grau; March 11)

“The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When sixteen-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions – the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Also included are new titles by Chris Pavone, Elly Griffiths, Alice LaPlante, and the following debut:

Precious ThingPrecious Thing, Colette McBeth, (Macmillan/Minotaur; Brilliance audio; March 4)

“Clara and Rachel have been friends since high school. Life has intervened and they’ve grown apart, so when Clara invites Rachel for drinks to catch up, it’s a chance to reconnect. But before that can happen, Rachel is called to cover a missing girl story, and the missing girl is Clara. Was she abducted, murdered or did she simply leave on her own? In the vein of Gone Girl and The Husband’s Secret, this is a fast read that is sure to entertain.” — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

Remember that several of these titles will be available as egalleys on either Edelweiss or Netgalley until publication date, so you still have time to get to know them. For ordering information, including alternate formats, check our spreadsheet, LibraryReads through March.

Now’s the time to make your voice heard and nominate your favorite upcoming titles. If you are looking for help on how, Edewleiss is holding a webinar on Wednesday, March 5th, 4-5:30 EST, covering how to nominate titles, write blurbs, find ARC’s, track titles in Edelweiss and connect with other librarian users in the Edelweiss Community. Register here.

RUSA Awards, The Outliers

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The 2014 RUSA Notables include several titles that have already received wide recognition, such as Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Curiously, a few award winners did not make the cut, such as James McBride’s National Book Award winner, The Good Lord Bird.

More interesting are the titles that haven’t appeared on other best books lists:

Too Bright to HearToo Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey (Soho Press; released in trade pbk in Nov,)

Award Annotation: “The fragmented and unsettling perspective of a man grappling with mental illness.”

Unchangeable Spots of LeopardsThe Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (Penguin/Viking; trade pbk. coming Feb, 25)

Award Annotation: “Around the world with a charmingly unreliable narrator in this coming-of-age tale.”

Note: This was featured in our Penguin First Flights Debut Author Program  — view a transcript of our live online chat with the author here.

Year ZeroYear Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Baruma (Penguin)

Award Annotation: “A fresh look at the aftermath of World War II challenges the traditional, heroic narrative.”

Far Away NearbyFaraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin/Viking; trade pbk. coming in April)

“Apricots and Alzheimer’s come together in a meditation on how lives are created and sustained through story.”

RUSA also handed out awards for genre fiction, in the 2014 Reading List and for audio, in the 2014 Listen List.

Flora, Floca, and Eleanor & Park

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Eleanor & parkCurrently dominating Amazon’s Movers and Shakers, the list of titles that have shown the greatest jumps in sales rank over the past 24 hours, are, of course, the books that were announced as winners of  the most heavily-covered ALA Youth Media Awards at Midwinter yesterday.

In the case of the Printz, however, one of the honor books, Eleanor & Park, rose higher than the Medalist, probably because, having already been a best seller, it has stronger name recognition.

Sales rank: 8 (was 630)
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, Kate DiCamilla, K.G. Campbell, Candlewick Press
Newbery Medalist

Sales rank: 14 (was 2,565)
Locomotive, Brian Floca, S&S/Atheneum
Caldecott Medalist

Sales rank: 116 (was 186)
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Printz Honor (the winner Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick, Macmillan/Roaring Brook is at #630)

Sales rank: 210 (was 3,333)
The Year of Billy Miller, Kevin Henkes, HarperCollins/Greenwillow
Newbery Honor

Sales rank: 250 (was 36,725)
Flora and the Flamingo, Milly Idle, Chronicle Books
Caldecott Honor

Sales rank: 290 (was 20,872)
Paperboy, Vince Vawter, RH/Delacorte
Newbery Honor

Sales rank: 355 (was 15,495)
Doll Bones, Holly Black, S&S/ Margaret K. McElderry Books
Newbery Honor

Sales rank: 4 (was 5)
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
The author won the Margaret A. Edwards Award; this book was already high on the list, both because it’s perennially popular and because of the movie, which is still in theaters.

Bank Street Mock Newbery Awards

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014


On Tuesday, we reported on the voting for the Mock Printz awards by the kids at the Bank Street College of Education’s School for Children. We feared that the East Coast blizzard might affect the Mock Newbery program, but even snow and sleet couldn’t stop them.

Allie Bruce, Bank Street’s children’s librarian and Jennifer Brown, Director of the Center for Children’s Literature are excited that a fiction book — The Real Boy – and an information book — Wild Boy – tied as the winner. The honor book was Doll Bones.

Below, Allie and Jenny report the highlights of the discussions:

Winners – It’s a Tie!

The Real Boy   Wild Boy
The Real Boy
, Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire, (HarperCollins/Walden Pond)

“There was one point where I forgot to breathe for awhile.”

“I liked that it showed how uncomfortable he was with people, and how that tied in to the plot of the book.”

“It started slow but by the end I was not stopping.”

Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron, Mary Losure, Timothy Basil Ering, (Candlewick)

“It was really real. Lots of detail and it moved along quickly.”

“It tugged at my emotions.”

“I liked the illustrations.”

“You’re getting transported to all these places over 38 years.”

“It was really interesting all the things they were willing to do to get him to talk.”

“It grabbed your attention almost as if you were in his position.”

Honor Book:

9781416963981Doll Bones, Holly Black, Eliza Wheeler, (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry)

“I’ve never read anything like it. It was so creepy, like when the Queen’s eyelids were fluttering like she was waking up.”

“The characters were interesting. It was cool how they all played together. The author made it like when they played with the dolls and the action figures, it was like they were real.”

“A nice subtle build-up and then it gets more exciting.”

“It was really hard to put down. I was up for 3 hours after my bedtime.”

Bank Street’s Mock Printz

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014


Excitement is building over who will win the ALA Youth Media Awards, to be announced in a few days at Midwinter. Librarians aren’t the only ones who will be watching their Twitter feeds. So will the thousands of kids around the country who have voted in various Mocks.

The kids at my old stomping ground, the Center for Children’s Literature Bank Street College of Education recently voted in their Mock Printz program, ably led by  Jennifer Brown, Director (look for their Mock Newbery winners in the next few days, unless the East Coast snow storm delays it).

While the Honor Book the kids chose has been on many best books lists and was a National Book Award finalist, their winner did not get recognized on the major lists we tracked (see our downloadable spreadsheet 2013 Best BooksChildrens and YA), proving once again that kids and critics often differ.

Below, Jenny reports the winners and highlights of the discussions:

The Winner

TwerpTwerp by Mark Goldblatt (Random House BYR; Listening Library).

Highlights of the students’ book discussion:

“I had never read a book set in the 1960s. It was cool to see how someone who was my age back then was going through life.”

“I liked that it included phrases you’d expect a 12-year-old would say.”

“When he admits what he did, I liked how he wrote it. The whole book he was putting it off. He was having trouble admitting it because he felt really bad.”

“I liked how he would be talking about something and then get off-topic.”

“I liked that the characters were all really different from each other.”

“I liked that there was a real sense of hard reality.”

Honor Book

9780375849725_8d093-3Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, (RH/Knopf; Listening Library)

This title came in closest with the next highest number of votes. Students commented,

“It was a mixture of a lot of genres. The mystery made me want to keep reading.”

“I like that it was told from the point of view of a ghost. I’ve never read a book like that.”

“All the characters had different personalities.”

“You can’t staple it with a genre, it has aspects of different ones.”

“It was really creative and smart.”

“I couldn’t put it down.”
“The point of view of the ghost made it special and different.”

“It was a fantasy, but the characters seemed real.”

RED RISING Tops LibraryReads for February

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Red RisingCalled “the next great read for those who loved The Hunger Games,”  Pierce Brown’s debut Red Rising, (RH/Del Rey; Jan. 28) tops the February LibraryReads list. Cindy Stevens of the Pioneer [OK] Library System adds, “This story has so much action, intrigue, social commentary and character development that the reader who never reads science fiction will happily overlook the fact that the story takes place on Mars far in the future. The characters are perfectly flawed, causing the reader to feel compassion and revulsion for both sides. Can’t wait for the next installment!” Happily, you can tell readers that it is the first in a planned trilogy. Published as an adult title, it also has strong crossover YA appeal.

9780804139021Mars is played for laughs in another debut on the list, The Martian by Andy Weir (RH/Crown, Feb. 11). Originally published as an ebook, it caught the eye of Fox Studios which hired  Drew Goddard, to direct it. Goddard, a sought-after screenwriter (Cloverfield and Robopocalypse) made a big splash in his first outing as a director with the low budget hit, Cabin in the Woods. Since the book has already been released as in audio by Audilble, you can listen to a sample here.

9780062088253_0_Cover-4We’re pleased to see Wiley Cash’s second book, This Dark Road to Mercy (HarperCollins/Morrow; Jan. 28) is also picked. We were early fans of his 2012 debut, A Land More Kind Than Home. Robin Nesbitt, Columbus [OH] Metropolitan Library says Cash’s new book is “as good as his first,” which says a lot. If you’re going to Midwinter, look for him at the HarperCollins booth #731. You’ll get a warm reception; he’s a major fan of librarians (ask him about his cat).

The list includes a nonfiction pick, E.E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever (RH/Pantheon, Feb. 11). It is excerpted in the current issue of Vanity Fair (unfortunately, it’s one of the articles only available by subscription). Says Linda Jeffries-Summers, Howard County [MD] Library,

Cummings is a pivotal figure in the creation of modern verse, and Cheever conveys his journey with color, warmth, and understanding, especially his imprisonment in France during the First World War, his father’s death and his final reunion with his daughter. She leaves the reader with only one wish: to be a fly on the wall while the poet held forth to his friends.

You can read many of these books now as eGalleys from Edelweiss and NetGalley. If you are going to midwinter, look for print galleys at publishers booths (check the interactive floor plan for booth locations).

To see if you’ve ordered these titles, check our downloadable spreadsheet, LibraryReads, which also lists alternate formats.

Remember to nominate your favorite forthcoming titles for LibraryReads!

To learn more, come to the LibraryReads program at Midwinter:

Collaborative Discovery for Librarians & Patrons
Saturday, Jan. 25, 11:30 – 12:30
PCC 114 Lecture Hall
[PLEASE NOTE: time & location were changed; check your schedule to make sure you have the correct one]

Books Score with Oscar

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The Oscar nominees have been announced. You can make your picks on ballots from several sources, including the NYT ballot.

Book adaptations made a strong showing in the major categories (we’re including August: Osage County, which is adapted from a play).

Oscar Nominees Based on Books — Major Categories

Best Picture — 5 of 9
Director — 3 of 5
Actor in a Leading Role — 3 of 5
Actress in a Leading Role — 2 of 5
Actor in a Supporting Role — 4 of 5
Actress in a Supporting Role — 3 of 5

Total — 20 of 34

The Leaders

9780143125273_3986f-2  9780143125419

A Captain's Duty, 2010  Wolf of Wall Street  9780143124726_0830b

The leading adaptations  are American Hustle (10 nominations, based on The Sting Man), 12 Years a Slave (9), Captain Phillips (6), The Wolf of Wall Street (5) and Philomena (4). For more on the books, see our list of Books to Movies and TV — Released in 2013.

Trailing Behind

Meanwhile, several other adaptations came up short, only getting nominations in the more technical categories, despite early predictions:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Sounding Mixing

Lone Survivor —  Sound Editing, Sound Mixing

The Great Gatsby — Production Design, Costume Design

Inside Llewyn Davis — Cinematography, Sound Mixing

The Book Thief — Original Score

Saving Mr. Banks  — Original Score

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom — Original Song

Invisible Woman  — Costume Design

Flavia de Luce Tops LibraryReads for January

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The Dead in Their Vaulted ArchesThe number one title on the January LibraryReads list of ten library staff favorites for the month, released on Friday, features Alan Bradley’s almost-12-year-old detective, Flavia de Luce in her sixth adventure, The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches, (RH/Delacorte; RH Audio; BOT; Thorndike). Describing it, Nancy Russell of Ohio’s Columbus Metropolitan Library, says, “You’ll enjoy seeing new depths in Flavia – this novel takes the series in an exciting direction.”

Earlier this year, author Bradley talked about how pleased he is that director-producer Sam Mendes bought the film rights to the series for a 10-episode television series. The new title completes the original story arc, but with the TV series a possibility, Bradley is planning at least four more Flavia novels.

Other books on the list bring to light little-known aspects of the two world wars. In The Wind Is Not a River, (Harper/Ecco), author Brian Payton sets his WWII novel against the Japanese invasion of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. A Star for Mrs. Blake is set after WW I, when  Gold Star mothers were offered funds by the U.S. government to visit their sons’ graves in France. The novel imagines the journey of five of them, including one feisty small-town librarian.

9781612192642_ea593The list also includes a novel from indie Brooklyn publisher Melville House (their blog is one of the most entertaining and outspoken in publishing) with an attention-getting title, A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor.

Describing it, Jane Jorgenson, of Wisconsin’s Madison Public Library says, “Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, a Pythagorean pizza chain, in the near-ish future. His job is to take calls, listen to complaints and help his customers achieve maximum pizza happiness. His employee manual gives him an answer for every scenario–until he gets a call from Marco, who seems to be calling from another time or space. Think of Terry Pratchett crossed with Douglas Adams.”

Many of the ten titles are available as eGalleys, so you can read them now and be ready to recommend them when they are published. Our downloadable spreadsheet, LibraryReads, Jan. includes information on eGalley availability, as well as alternate formats.

Remember to nominate your favorite forthcoming titles for LibraryReads!

To learn more, come to the LibraryReads program at Midwinter:

LibraryReads: Collaborative Discovery for
Librarians & Patrons
Saturday, Jan. 25, 11:30 – 12:30    PCC 114 Lecture Hall [PLEASE NOTE change in time and location]

Find out how to share the books you love with readers across the country and enhance your professional profile by participating in LibraryReads, the monthly, nationwide library staff picks list.

James McBride on PBS

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The author of The Good Lord Bird, (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike), James McBride,  winner of the National Book Award in fiction, appeared on PBS News Hour last night. He talks about why he wanted to write a funny book about John Brown, a man who had “no sense of humor at all,” but a man he grew to love.

The interview continues here.

McBride, Fiction Award “Underdog”?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

The Good Lord BirdThe New York Times declares James McBride the “surprise winner” of the National Book Award in fiction, announced last night. NPR calls him “the clear underdog.”

Both designations reveal more about the competition than they do about McBride, who has already published a major best seller, 1996’s The Color of Water, (which was on the NYT best seller list for over 2 years). His first novel,  Miracle at St. Anna, was made into a movie by Spike Lee and The Good Lord Bird (Penguin/Riverhead; Dreamscape Audio; Thorndike), his third novel and NBA winner, has already appeared on a number of the year’s best books lists.

As the NYT also notes, “While the National Book Awards tend to be criticized for their selections of little-known or obscure books, few were complaining about the finalists this year. Rachel Kushner, Jhumpa Lahiri and George Saunders, nominees in fiction, were critical darlings.”

There was at least one complaint. Eric Obenauf in the Los Angeles Review of Books, expressed disappointment that the fiction long list, introduced this year, didn’t expand opportunities for lesser knowns, but was “dominated by already brand writers.” He calls 2010, the year that true underdogs, Paul Harding’s debut novel Tinkers, (from “teeny ” Bellevue Literary Press) won the Pulitzer Prize and The Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (from the even smaller McPherson & Company), won the National Book Award for Fiction, “a watershed moment in contemporary publishing.”

If you’re surprised to hear McBride called an “underdog,” remember the term is relative.

DISPLAY NOTE: This is a good time to pull previous winners and put them on display — the National Book Awards site lists past winners, with links to comments that put them into a contemporary context.