March 13, 2009 at 04:51 AM EDT

Chilean author Roberto Bolano posthumously won the National Book Critics Circle award Thursday night for the English translation of his 912-page novel 2666. He completed its first draft shortly before his death in 2004.

Other winners included Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War for general nonfiction, Ariel Sabar’s My Father’s Paradise for autobiography, and Patrick French’s The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul for biography. The poetry prize was shared for the first time by two volumes: August Kleinzahler’s Sleeping It Off in Rapid City and Juan Felipe Herrera’s Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems.

The NBCC is comprised of more than 900 active book critics nationwide. The awards were announced in New York City.

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