Yesterday the National Book Foundation announced its 2010 National Book Award winners. The fiction prize went to Jaimy Gordon for her novel The Lord of Misrule. The book was a surprise winner to most award-watchers -- its official publication date was just this month, and it was published by a tiny independent press called McPherson, with an initial print run of just 2,000 copies. The first consumer review of the title was published in Tuesday's edition of the Washington Post (click here to read it).
The nonfiction prize went to punk rock icon Patti Smith, for Just Kids, her memoir of her long friendship and early love affair with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The poetry prize went to Terrence Hayes for Lighthead, which has been well-received this year in the poetry community. The award for young people's fiction went to Kathryn Erskine for Mockingbird, which follows a fifth-grade girl with Asperger's syndrome as she attempts to deal with grief over the shooting death of her beloved brother and make sense of the world around her.
For a full list of the winners and nominees for this year's National Book Award prizes, as well as transcripts and videos of author interviews, click here for the National Book Foundation website.