National Book Awards

▪ American literary award
      annual awards given to books of the highest quality written by Americans and published by American publishers. The awards were founded in 1950 by the American Book Publishers Council, American Booksellers Association, and Book Manufacturers Institute. From 1976 to 1979 they were administered by the National Book Committee. In 1980 they were renamed the American Book Awards and were conferred by the American Booksellers Association. Seven years later the awards were again called the National Book Awards, and they were thereafter granted by the National Book Foundation.

      The process begins when publishers submit selected books to compete in several categories, chiefly fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Winners are chosen by five-member panels selected for each genre; they receive a $10,000 cash award and a crystal sculpture. Awards are also intermittently given for children's literature, autobiography, first novel, and other categories. Past winners include William Carlos Williams, Bruce Catton, Theodore Roethke, Katherine Anne Porter, Edward Seidensticker, Flannery O'Connor, Lewis Thomas, and Madeleine L'Engle.

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Universalium. 2010.

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