The marketplace made the right predictions on the two highest-profile National Book Awards, as the fiction prize went to the book that has sold the best, both overall and (overwhelmingly) in the four weeks since the nominations were announced: Colum McCann’s LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN (Random House). Nonfiction also saw the book that has by far sold the best win, with the award going to T. J. Stiles’ THE FIRST TYCOON: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Alfred A. Knopf).
Conflict issues raised online by Janice Harayda and echoed by the NYT over nominee David Small’s relationship having illustrated a book for one YA judge fell away as Phillip Hoose won the award for CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice (Farrar, Straus).
The poetry award was given to Keith Waldrop for TRANSCENDANT STUDIES (U. of California Press).
The special 60th anniversary “Best of the National Book Awards Fiction” prize, voted on by the public, was given to THE COMPLETE STORIES, by Flannery O’Connor.
For those keeping track, nine of the 20 twenty nominees were women, but all of the honorees were men.