Here’s a virtual toast to a diverse group of 2011 literary award winners from around the world. The authors noted here represent those books, short stories, poems, plays, and novellas that have entertained millions of us readers all year long. Throughout 2011, we embraced these authors with devoted loyalty. We let their poetry touch our souls. We learned something new about ourselves. We solved their crimes and fought with them to end violence, inhumanity, and social injustice. Join us as we celebrate their award-winning work:
Caine Prize for African Writing: went to Zimbabwean author, Elizabeth Tshele—who writes under the pen name, NoViolet Bulawayo—for her short story Hitting Budapest which first appeared in ‘The Boston Review’ Vol 35, no. 6 – Nov/Dec 2010.
Glass Key award for best Nordic crime fiction: Leif G. W. Persson Swedish: Den döende detektiven English: The Dying Detective
Man Booker Prize for Fiction: The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes. The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes’s new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world’s most distinguished writers.
National Book Awards:
- Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury U.S.A.) In a story about a teenage Katrina survivor, author Jesmyn Ward makes beautiful music that plays deftly with her reader’s expectations: where we expect violence, she gives us sweetness. When we brace for beauty, she gives us blood.
- Non-fiction: Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (W. W. Norton & Company)
- Poetry: Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split (TriQuarterly, an imprint of Northwestern University Press)
- Young People’s Literature: Thanhha Lai, Inside Out & Back Again (Harper, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
- Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community: Mitchell Kaplan.
- Lifetime Achievement Award: John Ashbery
New York Times bestsellers 2011 (this week’s top five) Combined Print & E-Book Fiction:
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Knopf Doubleday Publishing) A hacker and a journalist investigate the disappearance of a Swedish heiress 40 years earlier: 19 weeks on NYT bestseller list.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett. (Penguin Group.) A young white woman and two black maids in 1960s Mississippi. 45 weeks on NYT bestseller list.
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King. (Scribner.) An English teacher travels back to 1958 by way of a time portal in a Maine diner. His assignment is to stop Lee Harvey Oswald. 7 weeks on NYT bestseller list.
- The Litigators by John Grisham. (Knopf Doubleday Publishing.) Partners in a small law firm take on a big case after a fast-track burnout joins them. 9 weeks on NYT bestseller list.
- Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson. (Little, Brown & Company.) Alex Cross investigates when the president’s children are kidnapped, but the F.BI. And C.I.A. interfere. 9 weeks on NYT bestseller list.
From PEN America, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization these “special achievement” literary awards went to:
- W.G. Sebald Award for a Fiction Writer in Mid-Career: The Noble Truths of Suffering, a story about war-torn Bosnia, by Aleksandar Hemon.
- Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist: Yellow Face and M. Butterfly, by David Henry Hwang.
- Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career: The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry and Dance of the Holy Ghosts, by Marcus Gardley.
2011 Pulitzer Prize winners in “Letters and Drama”:
- Fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A. Knopf)
- Drama:Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
- History: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner (W.W. Norton & Company)
- Biography: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (The Penguin Press)
- Poetry: The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan (Grove Press)
- General Nonfiction: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner)
If you are an author who published your book or won an award in 2011, feel free to tell us about your work and post a link in the comment box. Write on, dear friends! Right on!