The American National Book Awards were bestowed in New York City last night. The big winners were Denis Johnson’s Vietnam epic Tree of Smoke for fiction; Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for young people’s lit; Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA for non-fiction; and Robert Hass’s Time and Materials for poetry. (For those keeping track of Canadian distributors, that would be Douglas & McIntyre, H.B. Fenn, Random House, and HarperCollins, respectively.)
Q&Q contributor Sarah Weinman was on the scene, and on her own blog she has a thorough roundup of coverage. As for her own impressions:
Like this year and last, I had a good time at the Book Awards. Why? Because even though the dress-up quotient was high and the speeches were long, I always feel a palpable love of literature in the room, even if it’s not necessarily correlated to the nominated books.
Weinman and several other litbloggers were also live-blogging from the event. Her one-line-at-a-time on-the-spot impressions can be found here. (Sample: “[Presenter Michael] Cunningham: nervous and a blowhard.”)