Presenter of the National Book Awards

E.L. Doctorow: 1931-2015

The National Book Foundation is saddened by the news that E.L. Doctorow, National Book Award Winner and recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, died yesterday, survived by his wife, Helen Setzer, and three children.

"E.L. Doctorow took the historical novel into new avenues of literary American-ness," said Harold Augenbraum, Director of the National Book Foundation. "As a craftsman, he had extraordinary integrity, perhaps surpassed only by his dedication to social justice and fairness throughout the world."

A prolific writer, Doctorow received numerous awards throughout his career, including the first National Book Critics Circle Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN/Faulkner awards; his novel World's Fair won National Book Award for Fiction, and he was a Finalist on four other occasions. Upon receiving the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2013, Doctorow remarked "Writers thrive on adversity and have ever since God stopped writing and humans took over the task."

Read Doctorow's obituary in the NY Times for more about the legacy this "literary time traveler" leaves behind.

Photo credit: Robin Platzer, Twin Images

2015 NBA News

Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.

A collage created by the celebrated poet John Ashbery  will be featured on the cover of the 2015 National Book Awards program book. Winner of the National Book Award in 1976 and recipient of the Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2011,  Ashbery published Breezeway, his twenty-sixth volume of poetry, earlier this year. One of the most significant literary figures of the past half-century, Ashbery also is celebrated for his writing on art, and first experimented with collage-making as an undergraduate at Harvard College. His most recent exhibition opened June 18 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York City. Previous contemporary artists to contribute artwork to the National Book Awards are Matt Bollinger, Jeff Koons, Julie Mehretu, and Ed Ruscha. 

Rollins College newest participant in NBA on campus

Rollins College, FL

On February 23 and 24, the Foundation will expand its NBA on Campus program into the Southeast. This week a new partnership was announced with Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida. The school will host two National Book Award authors during its annual Winter With the Writers Literary Festival.

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"What I remember most are the young people. Especially the kids of color, who spend their lives erased. Looking for themselves in books, in the literature, in the canon, and not finding anything. Not a trace. I don’t like to read, they tell me, but I read your book to the end."

National Book Award Finalist Junot Díaz sharing memories from his book tours with the NY Times.


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