Presenter of the National Book Awards

National Book Awards - 2009

FICTION JUDGES

Alan Cheuse is a novelist and critic who is a well-known book reviewer for National Public Radio. His most recent book is To Catch the Lightning, published in 2008.
www.alancheuse.com

Junot Díaz is the author of a book of short stories, Drown (1997), and a novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the John Sargent First Novel Prize.
www.junotdiaz.com

Jennifer Egan is the author of Look at Me, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction in 2001. Her most recent book is The Keep, published in 2006.
www.jenniferegan.com

Charles Johnson is the author of Middle Passage, which won the National Book Award in Fiction in 1990. His most recent book is Soulcatcher and Other Stories, published in 2001.
www.oxherdingtale.com

Lydia Millet’s novel, My Happy Life, won the PEN-USA Award for Fiction in 2003. Her most recent novel is How the Dead Dream, published in 2008.
www.lydiamillet.net

NONFICTION JUDGES

David Blight is Professor of History at Yale University and author of many books on nineteenth century American history, including A Slave No More, published in 2007.
www.davidwblight.com

Amanda Foreman is the author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, which won the Whitbread Prize in 1999 and was recently made into a movie entitled “The Duchess,” starring Keira Knightley.
www.amanda-foreman.com

Steve Olson’s book, Mapping Human History, was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction in 2002. His most recent book is Count Down, published in 2005.
http://steveolson.com

Camille Paglia is a literary and social critic. Her seminal work, Sexual Personae, was published in 1990. Her most recent book, published in 2005, is a poetry study entitled Break, Blow, Burn.

John Phillip Santos is a filmmaker, producer, journalist, and writer. His memoir, Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction in 1999. His most recent book is Songs Older than Any Known Singer, published in 2007.

POETRY JUDGES

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge is the author of several books of poetry, the most recent of which are I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, and Concordance, a collaboration with the sculptor Kiki Smith, both published in 2006.

A. Van Jordan is a poet whose most recent book is Quantum Lyrics, published in 2009. His book, Rise, published in 2002, won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award.

Cole Swensen is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Goest, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 2004. She has also translated several volumes of contemporary French poetry, including Art Poetic by Olivier Cadiot, published in 1999.

Kevin Young is the author of several books of poetry, including Jelly Roll, which was as Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 2003. His most recent book is For the Confederate Dead, published in 2007.

YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE JUDGES

Kathi Appelt has published many books for young adults and children. Her first work of fiction, The Underneath, was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature in 2008.
www.kathiappelt.com

Coe Booth is the author of two novels for young adults: Kendra, published in 2008, and Tyrell, published in 2006. She received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction for Tyrell in 2006.
www.coebooth.com

Carolyn Coman has published many books for young people, two of which were Finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. What Jamie Saw was a Finalist in 1996, and Many Stones was a Finalist in 2000.

Nancy Werlin is the author of seven young adult novels, the most recent of which is Impossible, published in 2008. Her book, The Rules of Survival, was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature in 2006.
www.nancywerlin.com

Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist whose book, American Born Chinese, was the first graphic novel ever to be selected as a Finalist for the National Book Award (2006). His most recent work is The Eternal Smile, a collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim published in 2009.
www.humblecomics.com