National Book Award Winner in Fiction: Peter Matthiessen

The National Book Award winners were announced tonight at a dinner in New York emceed by Eric Begosian. (And thanks to the National Book Foundation’s Twitter updates, readers who were not at the dinner could still follow the action. I confess that I don’t entirely understand Twitter, but was impressed by how tech savvy the National Book Foundation is.) This year’s winner for Fiction is Peter Matthiessen for Shadow Country. The four Finalists were: Aleksander Hemon for The Lazarus Project, Rachel Kushner for Telex from Cuba, Marilynne Robinson for Home, and Salvatore Scibona for The End. In other award news tonight, McKey (apparently not her real name) was named “America’s Next Top Model.” The winners of the National Book Awards each received $10,000 and a bronze statue. The winner of “ANTM” received a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl, representation from Elite Model Management, and a cover shoot for Seventeen Magazine. I’ll refrain from further comment. Just buy the Finalists’ wonderful books. And then read them. Please. 

Jim Shepard reads for One Story

 Jim Shepard & Lillian Nave Goudas, President of the Lenoir Book Club (thanks for the photo, Lillian!)Pianos was packed on Friday, January 4th when National Book Award-finalist Jim Shepard took the stage to read from his latest story collection, Like You’d Understand, Anyway. Jim read an excerpt of “Pleasure Boating at Lituya Bay,” and you can listen to it here. I love Jim Shepard’s stories because they make me laugh out loud and then, when I least expect it, they take a nose dive into emotional truth and make my heart explode.