Last night, the winners of the 2009 National Book Awards were announced during a gala dinner in New York City. Here they are:
Fiction: Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Nonfiction: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, by T. J. Stiles
Poetry: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy, by Keith Waldrop
Young People's Literature: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice, by Phillip Hoose
By the way, I kind of geeked out last night and followed the proceedings on Twitter. Several people attending the dinner were "tweeting," and they and the rest of us following them labeled our tweets with the hashtag, #nba09, thus creating the discussion. One participant noticed that all four of the winners were men, which reminded him of the uproar of a few weeks ago when the trade journal Publishers Weekly named its ten best books of the year, which were all by male authors. This led to what was for me the best tweet of the evening: "All of this year's #nba09 winners are men. OK, time to take your flamethrower of PW and turn it onto the NBA."