2008 National Book Awards announced

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National Book Awards
National book award winners, from left; Mark Doty for poetry; Annette Gordon-Reed for nonfiction; Judy Blundell for young people's literature and Peter Matthiessen for fiction. (Robin Platzer~AP)

Though several Chicagoans were nominated for the National Book Award, none came home with the prize. But as the Oscar hopefuls always say: "It's an honor just to be nominated." Very true, but someone has to win.

In the fiction category, Peter Matthiessen -- who beat out our own Aleksandar Hemon -- won for Shadow Country, a revision of a trilogy of novels originally released in the '90s.

''This book was quite a trial for everybody, including me,'' Matthiessen said at the awards ceremony last night in New York. ''[The original books] weren't best-sellers. They didn't make a lot of money.''

The 81-year-old Matthiessen, founder of the Paris Review, also won a National Book Award in 1979, for his nonfiction book The Snow Leopard.

Other awards included:

Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello.
Young People's Literature: Judith Blundell for What I Saw and How I Lied.
Poetry: Mark Doty for Fire to Fire.
Honorary awards: Maxine Hong Kingston and Barney Rosset.

Each winner received $10,000.

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Congratulations to gay writer and poet Mark Doty who took home the 2008 National Book Award last night for his poetry book entitled Fire to Fire. Doty is well known for his 2007 book Dog Years which is simultaneously both a heart breaking and heart war... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Teresa Budasi published on November 20, 2008 9:26 AM.

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