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National Book Awards - 2009
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STATS - In 2009, 193 publishers submitted 1,129 books for the 2009 National Book Awards.

The total number of books by genre:

  • Fiction, 236
  • Nonfiction, 481
  • Poetry, 161
  • Young People's Lit., 251


Winner: Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin (Random House) - Interview

Finalists: Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage (Wayne State University Press) - Interview
Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (W. W. Norton & Co.)
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite (Alfred A. Knopf) - Interview
Marcel Theroux, Far North (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) - Interview

FICTION JUDGES: Alan Cheuse, Junot Díaz, Jennifer Egan,
Charles Johnson
, Lydia Millet


Winner: T. J. Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Alfred A. Knopf) - Interview

Finalists: David M. Carroll, Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) - Interview
Sean B. Carroll, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) - Interview
Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt) - Interview
Adrienne Mayor, The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy (Princeton University Press) - Interview

NONFICTION JUDGES: David Blight, Amanda Foreman, Steve Olson,
Camille Paglia, John Phillip Santos


Winner: Keith Waldrop, Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy
(University of California Press) -

Finalists: Rae Armantrout, Versed (Wesleyan University Press) - Interview
Ann Lauterbach, Or to Begin Again (Penguin Books) - Interview
Carl Phillips, Speak Low (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) - Interview
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval (University of Pittsburgh Press) - Interview

POETRY JUDGES: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, A. Van Jordan,
Cole Swensen
, Kevin Young


Winner: Phillip Hoose, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) - Interview

Finalists: Deborah Heiligman, Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith
(Henry Holt) - Interview
David Small, Stitches (W. W. Norton & Co.) - Interview
Laini Taylor, Lips Touch: Three Times (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) - Interview
Rita Williams-Garcia, Jumped (HarperTeen/HarperCollins)

Carolyn Coman, Nancy Werlin, Gene Luen Yang


Gore Vidal


Dave Eggers

The Winner in each of the four categories – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and People's Literature – will be announced at the 60th National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 18.

2009 National Book Awards Dinner Master of Ceremonies

Andy Borowitz

Andy Borowitz is an author, comedian, satirist, and film actor. His work appears in The New Yorker, The Huffington Post and at his satirical website, He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the first-ever National Press Club Award for humor in 2004. He has written six humor books and is a two-time finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He won the NAACP Image Award for creating the hit television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, starring Will Smith. He produced the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville and wrote the upcoming Paramount motion picture Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. He has made countless television and film appearances, including the Woody Allen film Melinda and Melinda. He is writing his first novel.


National Book Awards
Finalist Announcement
Press Release (PDF)

A Celebration of The 60th National Book Awards

The Best of the National Book Awards Fiction Covers Page


Tuesday, November 17

National Book Awards Teen Press Conference
Back by popular demand, Moderator: “Stinky Cheese” Author Jon Scieszka
The New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum
Press Inquiries and attendance information, contact Sherrie at

2009 National Book Awards Finalist Reading
Tishman Auditorium, First Floor
The New School
66 W. 12th St.
New York, NY
Start time of the event 7pm
Reservations will be available through the New School Box Office. The New School box office 212-229-5488
The Foundation will have video footage of the reading available on our website after the event.

Wednesday, November 18

60th National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner
Cipriani Wall Street
New York City

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