Best of American literature have chosen their masterpieces for 2018 by handing out National Book Awards. 25 finalists in 5 categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult and translated literature) waited for the winners to be announced. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez beat its rivals in the category of fiction.
The Friend is about love, loss and grief. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
The dog is the only character in the novel who has a name. The book demonstrates the significance of a dog and a power of human relationship with a pet.
The Friend is the seventh novel by Sigrid Nunez. At the Award ceremony she said: “I became a writer not because I was seeking community but rather because I thought it was something I could do alone, and hidden, in the privacy of my own room. How lucky to have discovered that writing books made the miraculous possible: to be removed from the world, and to be a part of the world at the same time.”
Click here to see all the winners of the National Book Awards.