Presenter of the National Book Awards

National Book Awards - 1981

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/BIOGRAPHY (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Justin Kaplan, Walt Whitman

Finalists:

Robert K. Massie - Peter the Great
James R. Mellow - Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times
Peter Stansky and William Abrahams – Orwell: The Transformation
Ronald Steel - Walter Lippman and the American Century

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/BIOGRAPHY (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

Deirdre Bair, Samuel Beckett

Finalists:

E.K. Brown - Willa Cather
Leon Edel – Bloomsbury: A House of Lions
Maureen Howard - Facts of Life
Meryle Secrest - Being Bernard Berenson

CHILDREN'S BOOK, FICTION (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Betsy Byars, The Night Swimmers

Finalists:

Paula Fox - A Place Apart
Katherine Paterson - Jacob Have I Loved
Ouida Sebestyen - Far From Home
Jan Slepian - The Alfred Summer

CHILDREN'S BOOK, FICTION (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

Beverly Cleary, Ramona and Her Mother

Finalists:

Lloyd Alexander - The High King
Sue Ellen Bridgers - All Together Now
S.E. Hinton - Tex
Ellen Raskin - The Westing Game

CHILDREN'S BOOK, NONFICTION (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Alison Cragin Herzig & Jane Lawrence Mali, Oh, Boy! Babies

Finalists:

Jean Fritz - Where Do You Think You're Going, Christopher Columbus?
William Jaspersohn - The Ballpark
Milton Meltzer - All Time, All Peoples: A World History of Slavery
Peter Spier - People

FICTION (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Wright Morris, Plains Song
> Appreciations on Best of National Book Awards Fiction Blog

Finalists:

Shirley Hazzard - The Transit of Venus
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

William Maxwell - So Long, See You Tomorrow
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Walker Percy - The Second Coming
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Eudora Welty - The Collected Stories
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

FICTION (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever
> Appreciations on Best of National Book Awards Fiction Blog

Finalists:

Thomas Flanagan - The Year of the French
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Norman Mailer - The Executioner's Song
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Scott Spencer - Endless Love
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Herman Wouk - War and Remembrance
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

FIRST NOVEL

Winner:

Ann Arensberg, Sister Wolf
> Appreciations on Best of National Book Awards Fiction Blog

Finalists:

Jean M. Auel - The Clan of the Cave Bear
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Philip Caputo - Horn of Africa
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Johanna Kaplan - O My America
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

Lynne Sharon Schwartz - Rough Strife
- “Contenders” Fiction Finalists Exhibition Page >

GENERAL NONFICTION (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men

Finalists:

Malcolm Cowley - The Dream of the Golden Mountains
John Graves - From a Limestone Ledge
Victor S. Navasky - Naming Names
Studs Terkel - American Dreams: Lost and Found

GENERAL NONFICTION (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

Jane Kramer, The Last Cowboy

Finalists:

Joan Didion - The White Album
David Halberstam - The Powers That Be
Dan Morgan - Merchants of Grain
Paul Theroux - The Old Patagonian Express

HISTORY (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality

Finalists:

James H. Billington - Fire in the Minds of Men
Steve Ozmont - The Age of Reform, 1250-1550
Carl E. Schorske - Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Page Smith - The Shaping of America

HISTORY (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

Leon F. Litwak, Been in the Storm so Long: The Aftermath of Slavery

Finalists:

Richard Drinnon - Facing West
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. - In the Matter of Color
Telford Taylor – Munich: The Price of Peace
Howard Zinn - A People's History of the United States

POETRY

Winner:

Lisel Mueller, The Need to Hold Still
> NBA Poetry Blog Essay and Archival Material for Mueller

Finalists:

Philip Booth - Before Sleep
Isabella Gardner - That Was Then
Mark Strand - Selected Poems
Robert Penn Warren - Being Here

SCIENCE (HARDCOVER)

Winner:

Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections on Natural History

Finalists:

Claude C. Albritton, Jr. - The Abyss of Time
Rene Dubos - The Wooing of Earth
Timothy Ferris - Galaxies
Carl Sagan - Cosmos

SCIENCE (PAPERBACK)

Winner:

Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail

Finalists:

Carl Sagan - Broca's Brain
Joseph Silk - The Big Bang
Walter Sullivan - Black Holes

TRANSLATION

Winner:

Francis Steegmuller, The Letters of Gustave Flaubert

John E. Woods, Arno Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold

Finalists:

Guy Davenport – Archilochos, Sappho, Alkman: Three Lyric Poets of the Seventh Century B.C.
John Glad – Varlam Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales
Jean Milligan – Kao Ming’s The Lute