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The National Book Awards 2023 Announced Their Winners

On Wednesday night one of the most prestiguous literary prizes in the US - National Book Awards - for the 74th time have announced their winners in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people's literature.

Justin Torres and his Blackouts won the National Book Award for fiction. His novel is a rather strange narrative, which blends history and immagination. Out in the desert in a place called the Palace, a young man tends to a dying soul, someone he once knew briefly, but who has haunted the edges of his life. Juan Gay - playful raconteur, child lost and found and lost, guardian of the institutionalized - has a project to pass along to this new narrator by educating him about a real history called “Sex Variants”, a censored study of gay sexuality published in 1930s.

Meanwhile the nonfiction prize went to Ned Blackhawk’s The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History. Craig Santos Perez’s from incorporated territory (åmot), the fifth work in his series about his native Guam, received the National Book Award for poetry, Stênio Gardel’s The Words That Remain, translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato, won for translated literature, and Dan Santat’s A First Time for Everything was handed the prize for young people's literature.

This year's The National Books Awards embodied a tribute to words and the right to read. The night’s unofficial themes were self-expression, voices silenced and raised and the way literature can, as poet Rita Dove described it, summon the voice of our “unarticulated disturbances.”

Established in 1950, the National Book Awards are American literary prizes administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization.


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