The best of American literature was recognized on Wednesday in New York City.
Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, a novel about a woman who is raped and left traumatized on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, won the National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday.
Erdrich, who gave part of her acceptance speech in Ojibwe, said the award “recognized the grace and endurance of native women.” USA TODAY’s four-star review called it “deeply moving” and “impossible to forget.”
The other winners are:
Non-fiction:Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo, who said that “small stories and hidden places matter.” The judges praised the “interview-based narrative in which the interviewer never appears.”
Young People’s Literature: Goblin Secrets by William Alexander, a fantasy about a boy searching for his missing brother. The judges praised it for “brilliantly revealing our own selves by holding up our masks.” Alexander called his win “proof that alternative realities exist.”
Poetry: Bewilderment by David Ferry, which the judges praised for “singing about the human condition as casually and ferociously as it is lived.”
The winners in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young people’s literature each receive $10,000 — and a boost in their literary reputations and book sales. To be eligible for this year’s awards, a book must have been published in the USA between Dec. 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012, and been written by a U.S. citizen.
The 62-year-old awards, rivaled only by the Pulitzers in prestige, are sponsored by theNational Book Foundation, which is supported by the publishing industry.