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National Book Awards honor Packer, McBride, Angelou

At the 64th annual National Book Awards on Wednesday night in Manhattan, the nonfiction prize went to George Packer's keenly observed The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, a major portion of which is about the real estate crash in the Tampa Bay area. Upset winner of the fiction prize, besting literary eminences Thomas Pynchon and George Saunders, was James McBride for his funny, poignant historical novel The Good Lord Bird, narrated by a slave boy in the pre-Civil War era. Cynthia Kadohata's gentle contemporary story of a Japanese-American family, The Thing About Luck, won the prize for young people's literature. The poetry prize went to Incarnadine, Mary Szybist's lyrical collection of poems about love and religious faith. The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters went to E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime), and its Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community went to the unstoppable Maya Angelou, 85, (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), right, who rolled onstage in a wheelchair and burst into song. — Colette Bancroft, Times book editor

National Book Awards honor Packer, McBride, Angelou 11/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:46pm]
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