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Entertainment Weekly

Books

The Friend author Sigrid Nunez triumphs at the 2018 National Book Awards

Nancy Crampton; William Morrow

Posted on

Sigrid Nunez published her first book in 1995, and had been steadily writing for more than two decades before receiving her first nomination for a National Book Award, the most prestigious American literary award, just last month. And Wednesday night, the author managed to go all the way, winning the coveted prize for Fiction, a triumphant moment of recognition for her acclaimed new novel The Friend.

For The Friend, a meditation on loss and writing which centers on an aging author’s bond with a great dane, Nunez defeated former National Book Awards finalist Lauren Groff (Florida), debut author Jamel Brinkley (A Lucky Man), Andrew Carnegie Medal finalist Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers), and Brandon Hobson (Where the Dead Sit Talking). The finalists were announced last week. (Best-selling novels There There and An American Marriage were longlisted, but didn’t ultimately make the final cut.)

Other National Book Award winners for 2018 include Jeffrey C. Stewart, author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (Nonfiction); Justin Phillip Reed, author of Indecency (Poetry); and Toko Tawada and her translator Margaret Mitsutani, inaugural Translated Literature winners for The Emissary. Finally, in a major moment for slam-poet-turned-YA-author Elizabeth Acevedo, her innovative debut The Poet X nabbed the trophy for Young People’s Literature (EW called it “a stunning amplification of the Latina experience).

See the full list of winners is below:

FICTION

NONFICTION

POETRY

TRANSLATED LITERATURE

YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE

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