[NBA] National Book Award

National Book Award [NBA]

Given annually since 1950

One of three major literary awards given to American authors, the others being the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner. The National Book Award has a schizophrenic personality, shifting from awarding famous authors for latter-day works (Faulkner, O’Hara, Wilder), awarding then lesser-known authors for their best work (Pynchon, DeLillo, Franzen) and, well, sort of a combination of the two (Bellow, Updike, Cheever, Roth). It is safe to say, though, that the [NBA] has a remarkable knack – better than any other annual award – for picking books that remain part of the cultural conversation for years to come. These aren’t notable books because they won, but because they are excellent fiction. Odd, but that is actually the greatest compliment you can give an award. That being said, I have not read nor heard anything about the winners of this award since The Corrections. Has anyone else?

All winners here. Works marked in RED below appear on the Master List.

1950 Nelson Algren The Man with the Golden Arm
1951 William Faulkner The Collected Stories of William Faulkner
1952 James Jones From Here to Eternity
1953 Ralph Ellison Invisible Man
1954 Saul Bellow The Adventures of Augie March
1955 William Faulkner A Fable
1956 John O’Hara Ten North Frederick
1957 Wright Morris The Field of Vision
1958 John Cheever The Wapshot Chronicle
1959 Bernard Malamud The Magic Barrel
1960 Philip Roth Goodbye, Columbus
1961 Conrad Richter The Waters of Kronos
1962 Walker Percy The Moviegoer
1963 J. F. Powers Morte d’Urban
1964 John Updike The Centaur
1965 Saul Bellow Herzog
1966 Katherine Anne Porter The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
1967 Bernard Malamud The Fixer
1968 Thornton Wilder The Eighth Day
1969 Jerzy Kosinski Steps
1970 Joyce Carol Oates them
1971 Saul Bellow Mr. Sammler’s Planet
1972 Flannery O’Connor The Complete Stories
1973
[a]
John Barth Chimera
1973 John Edward Williams Augustus
1974
[b]
Thomas Pynchon Gravity’s Rainbow
1974 Isaac Bashevis Singer A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories
1975
[c]
Robert Stone Dog Soldiers
1975 Thomas Williams The Hair of Harold Roux
1976 William Gaddis J R
1977 Wallace Stegner The Spectator Bird
1978 Mary Lee Settle Blood Tie
1979 Tim O’Brien Going After Cacciato
In 1980 there were awards in many new categories including general fiction, hardcover and paperback, which are listed here. The two awards for general fiction continued for a few years.
1980 hard William Styron Sophie’s Choice
1980 pb[n 1] John Irving The World According to Garp
1981 hard Wright Morris Plains Song: For Female Voices
1981 pb[n 1] John Cheever The Stories of John Cheever
1982 hard John Updike Rabbit is Rich
1982 pb[n 1] William Maxwell So Long, See You Tomorrow
1983 hard Alice Walker The Color Purple
1983 pb[n 1] Eudora Welty The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
1984 Ellen Gilchrist Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories
1985 Don DeLillo White Noise
1986 E.L. Doctorow World’s Fair
1987 Larry Heinemann Paco’s Story
1988 Pete Dexter Paris Trout
1989 John Casey Spartina
1990 Charles Johnson Middle Passage
1991 Norman Rush Mating
1992 Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses
1993 E. Annie Proulx The Shipping News
1994 William Gaddis A Frolic of His Own
1995 Philip Roth Sabbath’s Theater
1996 Andrea Barrett Ship Fever and Other Stories
1997 Charles Frazier Cold Mountain
1998 Alice McDermott Charming Billy
1999 Ha Jin Waiting
2000 Susan Sontag In America
2001 Jonathan Franzen The Corrections
2002 Julia Glass Three Junes
2003 Shirley Hazzard The Great Fire
2004 Lily Tuck The News from Paraguay
2005 William T. Vollmann Europe Central
2006 Richard Powers The Echo Maker
2007 Denis Johnson Tree of Smoke
2008 Peter Matthiessen Shadow Country
2009 Colum McCann Let the Great World Spin
2010 Jaimy Gordon Lord of Misrule
2011 Jesmyn Ward Salvage the Bones

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