• AWARDS

The Pulitzer Winners

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping and slightly paralyzing literary experience, such that if you submit to it in the proper spirit your Twitter feed may go unchecked, your Facebook page unrefreshed, for days or perhaps weeks."

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An Addiction and an Award

"Because I am, essentially, a reading addict, my impulse is simply to rip right through a book, fiction or nonfiction, just for the animal pleasure of it. But sad experience has shown that if I abandon myself in this way, I will finish the book without being able to say much except: Boy was that ever good, you should read it." -- BNR columnist Katherine A. Powers, this year's recipient of the National Book Critic's Circle's Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

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Discover Authors and the 2013 Whiting Writers Awards

Few things better in the world than watching a writer receive an award, if you ask me.  Last night in New York, the Whiting Writers Awards were presented, and among the 10 recipients were three Discover writers: C.E. Morgan (2009, shortlisted for the Discover Award -fiction), Amanda Coplin (2012, winner of the Discover Award - fiction), and Jennifer Dubois (2013).  Jennifer discusses the inspiration for the new novel; challenging her characters’ -- and readers’ – preconceptions, (mis)interpretations, and snap judgments; and a list of the books she’s been reading lately with Discover Great New Writers.

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Alice Munro, Nobel Laureate

"In my own house, I seemed to be often looking for a place to hide—sometimes from the children but more often from the jobs to be done and the phone ringing and the sociability of the neighborhood. I wanted to hide so that I could get busy at my real work, which was a sort of wooing of distant parts of myself." That’s the unmistakable voice of Alice Munro, who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

 

We congratulate the Swedish Academy on its very good taste. If you’ve never read Munro's work, you’ll find the story I’ve quoted ("Miles City, Montana") and other splendid works here.

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The Rooster Has Crowed!

The Orphan Master’s Son takes the title in the 2013 Tournament of Books.

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2012 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) announced their 2012 award winners Thursday night at a ceremony at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in Manhattan.  These awards – established in 1972 by a group of literary critics meeting at the Algonquin Hotel – remain unique in that they are nominated and awarded solely by critics and reviewers.

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2013 Newbery and Caldecott Medal Winners Announced

Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan has been awarded the John Newbery Medal for "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." 

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The National Book Award Winners

Congratulations to this year's National Book Award winners: Katherine Boo, Louise Erdrich, William Alexander and David Ferry. In celebration of last night's ceremony, we wanted to look back at some of our coverage of the winners.

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Making Booker History

The 2012 Man Booker Prize in fiction was announced on Tuesday night, and the winner made history with her work of historical fiction:  Hilary Mantel took the award for her novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second volume in Mantel's reimagnation of the life and career of Thomas Cromwell,  Tudor courtier and ultimately the chief minister to Henry VIII.

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Discover and the 2012 National Book Awards

Congratulations are due to a host of Discover Great New Writers alums nominated for 2012 National Book Awards and named to the "5 Under 35" list.

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Junot Díaz is a Card-Carrying Genius

We couldn't be more thrilled with the news that Junot Díaz was awarded a 2012 "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, to pursue whatever creative project he choses. We can't wait to see what this storytelling impresario does next; For years Díaz has hinted at wanting to, trying to write a science-fiction epic...but for the moment, we'll stick to rereading the incandescent stories in This Is How You Lose Her.

 

If you haven't yet, do spare a moment for Díiaz's recent conversation with fellow writer Francisco Goldman about why he writes:

 

"I guess we all have our covenants with the world (or at least we should have). For people like my mother, it's her religion. For other people, it's their children or perhaps their families. For me storytelling is my sacred. About the only covenant I have. As reader and writer I believe in the infinite worldmaking power of stories. I'm with Leslie Marmon Silko when she says in Ceremony: 'I will tell you something about stories, (he said). They aren't just entertainment. Don't be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death.' If I have a faith, that's it. Stories are all we have to fight off illness and death."

 

 

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Highlights from the Man Booker Longlist

The Longlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize was announced on July 25; among the selections was Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, also chosen as a Discover Great New Writers Fall 2012 selection. In an exclusive interview with Miwa Messer, Joyce discusses writing about the things she believes in, ordinary people, and the search for something bigger in life.

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An Edgar for Michael Dirda

Congratulations to Michael Dirda! His On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling has won this year's Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Critical or Biographical Work. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic and author, whose "Library Without Walls" column appears monthly in the BNR, has penned a fascinating and unique book that weaves together Arthur Conan Doyle's life and work -- which included, in addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, wonderful works of historical fiction and adventure -- with a memoir of Dirda's own boyhood, a peek into the world of the "Baker Street Irregulars," and a meditation on the power of fiction.

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Stephen Greenblatt's Swerve and Other 2012 Pulitzer Winners

Today the 2012 winners of the Pulitzer Prizes -- an award keenly anticipated in the journalistic world, but only slightly less so among writers and publishers of books -- were announced. On the literary side, winners included Stephen Greeblatt's The Swerve: How the World Became Modern in General Nonfiction, Manning Marable's Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention in History -- not, as might have been expected, in Biography. That honor went to John Lewis Gaddis's George F. Kennan: A Life, which also recently won the National Book Critics' Circle award for Biography. Tracy K. Smith's collection Life on Mars took the Pulitzer for Poetry.

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Julie Otsuka Wins PEN/Faulkner Prize

The Buddha in the Attic is the winner of this year's PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.  Julie Otsuka takes the prize for her second novel.  It follows the brilliantly spare When the Emperor Was Divine, a Discover Great New Writers selection in 2002.

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Ismet Prcic Wins the 2012 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction

In the latest entry on Miwa Messer's Discover Great New Writers blog, the Director of the Discover program relates some fantastic news about Discover alumnus Ismet Prcic, whose Shards joins the ranks of other debut novels that have been first recognized by Barnes & Noble and then celebrated by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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2011 Discover Award Winners Announced

The 2011 Discover Great New Writers Awards have been announced! Kosher Chinese by Michael Levy is the first place winner for Nonfiction;  Scott O'Connor's Untouchable took the first place award in Fiction.

 

Click to see the full set of winners and the presenting judges .

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The National Book Awards: Jesmyn Ward, Stephen Greenblatt, Nicki Finney and Thanhha Lai

On Wednesday night, November 16th, the 2011 National Book Awards winners were announced: Jesmyn Ward’s novel Salvage the Bones took the award for fiction, while Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern received the award for nonfiction. Nikky Finney's Head Off and Split won for poetry; Thanhha Lai took the award for young people's literature for Inside Out and Back Again.

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Julian Barnes Takes the Man Booker Prize

The fourth time is, apparently, the charm. With The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes wins the 2011 Man Booker Prize. The multifaceted writer has been shortlisted three times before, for three wildly different novels -- first in 1984 for his innovative Flaubert's Parrot; fourteen years later for  England, England; and then again for Arthur and George in 2005. In The Sense of an Ending, a man in late middle age finds that a secret from his childhood threatens to overturn the careful architecture of his comfortable life.

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Tomas Tranströmer Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature

The Swedish Academy announced Thursday that the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature goes to eighty-year-old Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. In its press release -- itself an almost poetically compressed document -- the Academy said they chose Tranströmer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality." Helen Vendler celebrated his work in a 2009 essay in the New York Review of Books, saying: "He looks deep into the pool of the mind until an image looks back at him, and he holds it steady."

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All Must Have Prizes

I am delighted to learn that Richard Holmes’s The Age of Wonder, his lively and deeply intelligent study of the pursuit of science in the Romantic era, has been awarded the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction. Read more...

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Newbery and Caldecott Medalists: Rebecca Stead and Jerry Pinkney

Our dedicated children's books correspondent Lisa Von Drasek sends word from Boston on the Newbery, Caldecott and other annual awards in children's literature from the American Library Association. The John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature goes to Rebecca Stead for When You Reach Me, while the Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children goes to The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney. Lisa praised The Lion & the Mouse, in back in August, writing that its "purely visual storytelling" allows for a universal appreciation of Aesop's enduring fable. The ALA has a full rundown of the winners and other honorees, here.

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July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.