At a ceremony in Oxford, Mississippi, John Grisham announced the 2005 winners of the National Book Award. They are:
Europe Central by William Vollman
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Migration: New and Selected Poems by W.S. Merwin
- Young People’s Literature
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The fiction prize shocked me a little. I think everyone expected E.L. Doctorow to win for his book The March. Vollman is not exactly the most well recognized author around. His work seems underappreciated by most. Plus Europe Central clocks in at 832 pages. Ron has a first hand account of the awards ceremony, where the gasps were audible when the Fiction award was announced. The rest of the awards went pretty much the way I thought. I would have been shocked if Didion had not won.
On a side note, I like the fact that someone at the National Book Award has photoshopped the NBA gold medallion on the pictures of the books. Classy.