By Stephan Lee
Updated November 17, 2011 at 05:47 AM EST
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Despite a major snafu last month, the 62nd National Book Awards named its winners as planned at a ceremony in New York City on Wednesday night. Jesmyn Ward won the fiction prize for her critically lauded but under-the-radar Salvage the Bones, a fierce, lyrical novel set against the tragic backdrop of Hurricane Katrina. The nonfiction honor went to Stephen Greenblatt for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, and Nikki Finney picked up the poetry prize for Head Off & Split.

In perhaps the most fraught category this year — due to the brouhaha surrounding Lauren Myracle’s mistaken and eventually rescinded nomination — Thanhha Lai beat out the other finalists for the Young People’s literature award. Her novel centers on 10-year-old Ha, a girl whose life is forever changed when the Vietnam War ravages her hometown.

See below for a full list of winners and finalists:


++ Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn

++ Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife

++ Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic

++ Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision

++ Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones


++ Deborah Baker, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism

++ Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution

++ Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

++ Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

++ Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout

Young People’s Literature

++ Franny Billingsley, Chime

++ Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy

++ Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again

++ Albert Marrin, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

++ Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now


++ Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split

++ Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch

++ Carl Phillips, Double Shadow

++ Adrienne Rich, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010

++ Bruce Smith, Devotions

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