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ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AWARD WINNING BOOKS

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  • TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AWARD WINNING BOOKS
  • CARIBBEAN AWARD WINNING BOOKS
  • THE HISTORY OF AWARDS

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AWARD WINNING BOOKS

Ref WI Ant 
Antoni, Robert
Divina Trace
London : Robin Clark, 1991

A mysterious child, half-human, half-frog, is born on the island of Corpus Christi in the West Indies. Its mother becomes Magdalena Divina, the black Madonna, patron saint of the island, and the frogchild becomes the focus of and evolving legend as Johnny Domingo hears numerous versions of this remarkable story and tries, impossibly, to piece it together into one coherent and true account.

Commonwealth Writers Prize (1992)

REF WI Guy
Guy, Rosa
The Friends
New York: Dell Laurel Leaf, 1973

Everyone needs a friend. Phyllisia needs one when she first comes from the West Indies to live in New York. She can't pick and choose, though. She's an outsider. No one is very keen to befriend her. In fact they soon start to bully her because she's different. She has other troubles too. Her father is loud-mouthed and overbearing. Her mother is sick, dying. Her sister, Ruby, is sixteen and pre-occupied with herself. Phyllisia is fourteen and would like a little freedom, but it is all very different from the island where she lived before.

American Library Association's
Notable Book Award

REF WI Lov
Lovelace, Earl
Salt
London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1996

Set in Trinidad, the story is launched by the mythical tale of Guinea John, an ancestor of Blackpeople, who put two corncobs under his armpits and flew from a clifftop, away from the scene of his enslavement, back to Africa. His descendants have eaten salt, grown too heavy to fly, and cannot follow him. They are left to wrestle with their future on the island. Now, more than one hundred years after "Emancipation," like all the people who share the island--Asians, Africans, and Europeans--they need to be weaned from old captivities and welcomed into the New World.

Commonwealth Writers Prize 
(Overall Winner, Best Book) in 1997

REF WI Lov
Lovelace, Earl
While Gods Are Falling
Great Britain: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1965

In Port of Spain, Walter Castle, married with one child and another expected, has been passed over again for promotion in his job. This disappointment caused him to think of throwing up everything and going back to the land. He reviews his early life in city and country, and again this counterpoint of past and present, the colour and squalor of Trinidad its steelband gambling and stick-fighting are vividly and authentically portrayed.

Pegasus Literary Award, for outstanding contributions to the arts in Trinidad and Tobago, (1966)

REF WI Nai 
Naipaul, Shiva
The Chip-Chip Gatherers
Great Britain: Hamish Hamilton Limited, 1973

At the centre of Shiva Naipaul's magnificent story of the Settlement, a crowded, ramshackle community in Trinidad, stands Egbert Ramsaran, the proud owner of the Ramsaran Transport Company. Sheer bloody-minded strength of will has made him the richest man in the Settlement, a capricious, eccentric tyrant who loves nobody and whom nobody can afford to ignore. There is his son, Wilbert, bullied into passivity and failure; Vishnu Bholai, the downtrodden grocer without grace or hope; Julian Bholai, hoping to escape his father's fate by becoming a doctor; the beautiful, unpredictable Sushila, who briefly wields her seductive powers over Ramsaran; and her daughter, Sita, intelligent enough to know that escape is impossible. Their intricately woven lives are perfectly captured in all their pathos, comedy and humanity.

Whitbread Literary Award

REF WI Nai 
Naipaul, Shiva
Fireflies
Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1970

Fireflies tells the story of Trinidad’s most venerated Hindu family, the Khojas. Rigidly orthodox, presiding over acres of ill-kept sugarcane and hoards of jewellery enthusiastically guarded by old Mrs Khoja, they seem to have triumphed more by default than by anything else. Only ‘Baby’ Khoja, who is parceled off into an arranged marriage with a bus driver, proves an exception to this rule. She is the heroine, and her story the single gleaming thread in Shiva Naipaul’s Ferociously comic and profoundly sad first novel.

Jock Campbell New Statesman Award
The John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize
The Winifred Holtby Prize

Ref WI Nai
Naipaul, V.S.
In a Free State
London : Andre Deutsch Limited, 1971

This novel is set in a free state in Africa at a time of civil conflict when a once-ruling tribe is being decimated and its king is on the run. But for English people like Bobby and Linda, driving back from the capital to their expatriates’ compound in one of the regions, the roads are open. But their neutrality will not last; there is danger on the open road.

Nobel Prize for Literature (2001)
Booker Prize (1971)

Ref WI Nai
Naipaul, V.S.
Miguel Street
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1959

Miguel Street was a farewell to Port of Spain, Trinidad. The colorful characters of the sketches include Bogart, who got his name from the film Casablanca, B. Wordsworth who sells his poetry for four cents, and Man-man who in a real mystery to the people of Miguel Street. It is a story of hope, despair, poverty, and laughter. This is the story of distinct individuals who live in destitution, but still have hope for the future. It celebrates the uniqueness of people, along with their daily courage and stubbornness. The narrator escapes from the neighborhood, but as the story reveals, he can never escape his background, and his love for the people of Miguel Street.

Somerset Maugham Award (1959)

Ref WI Nai
Naipaul, V.S.
The Mimic Men 
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1967

Born of Indian Heritage, raised in the British-dependent Caribbean island of Isabella, and educated in England, forty-year-old Ralph Sigh has spent a lifetime struggling against the torment of cultural displacement. His memories lead him to recognize the cultural paradoxes and tainted fantasies of his colonial childhood and later life: his attempts to fit in at school and his short-lived marriage to an ostentatious white woman. But it is the return to Isabella and his subsequent immersion in the rolling political atmosphere of a newly self-governing nation – every kind of racial fantasy taking wing- that ultimately provide Singh with the necessary insight to discover the crux of his disillusionment.

W.H. Smith Award (1967)

Ref WI Nai
Naipaul, V.S.
Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1963

This is the story of Mr. Stone’s last month before retirement from his post as librarian in a large commercial firm. Mr. Stone, whose life has been well regulated to the point of eccentricity and enjoyed as a bachelor, decides to get married. The creative spirit seizes him and he conceives an idea that proves to be a success and incredulously Mr. Stone tastes the joys of achievement.

Hawthornden Prize (1963)

Ref WI Nai 
Naipaul, V.S.
The Mystic Masseur
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1957

The Mystic Masseur, V.S. Naipaul’s first novel, is the story of the rise and rise of Ganesh from failed primary school teacher and struggling masseur to author, revered mystic and MBE. It is a journey memorable for its hilarious and bewildering success.

John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize (1957)

REF WI Nun
Nunez, Elizabeth
Bruised Hibiscus
United States: The Ballantine Publishing Group, 2000

In her novel Bruised Hibiscus, Elizabeth Nunez confronts the differences between passion and power, black and white, and male and female. The novel begins with a fisherman's discovery of a mutilated woman, who appears to be white, in the Trinidadian town of Otahiti. The crime, which townspeople believed was a result of "man-woman business," rekindle a forgotten friendship between the characters of Rosa DesVignes née Ape Appleton and Zuela Simona Chin. Upon seeing each other, the women remember the unthinkable act they had witnessed from behind a hibiscus bush twenty years ago -- the same act that has torn them apart.

American Book Award

REF WI Phi 
Phillip, Marlene Nourbese
Harriet’s Daughter
England: Heinemann Publishers, 1988

Harriet Tubman was brave and strong, and she was black. Margaret is determined to be someone; to be cool; with style and class and to have blacker skin. More than anything else she wants to help her best friend, Zulma, escape from Canada and fly back to Tobago to live with her grandmother. She compiles a list : ‘Things I want changed in my life’ and sets about achieving her objectives. But at fourteen, coming to terms with growing up, relationships and responsibilities is not quite so straightforward.

Canadian Children’s Book
Centre’s Choice Award (1989)
Ontario School Library Association Award

REF WI Sco 
Scott, Lawrence
Aelred’s Sin
Great Britain: Allison & Busby Limited, 1998

Robert de la Borde comes to England in the 1980’s from the Caribbean after hearing the news that his brother Jean Marc has died. In Bristol Jean Marc’s journals prompt him to visit Ashton Park Monastery, which Jean Marc entered in the 1960’s as Brother Aelred. There with the help of his brother’s monastic friend Benedict, Robert pieces together Jean Marc’s life; his exuberance; his mental suffering and his struggle to balance his sexual impulses with his love of God.

Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 
Best Book in the Caribbean and Canada (1999)

REF WI Ste
Stewart, John
Last Cool Days
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1971

Set in colonial Trinidad, this powerfully intense novel explores the barriers between black and white in a highly stratified and racially demarcated society. Marcus is a young black village boy who gets fatefully attracted by the strangeness and privileges of white children in his neighbourhood and is befriended by the English overseer’s son Anthony. The awkwardness and instability of this relationship in time reinforce his sense of insecurity and alienation, instilling in him an adult rage that leads ultimately to tragedy.

Royal Society Of Literature Award

REF WI 811.54 Ab
Aboud, James Christopher
Lagahoo Poems
Leeds : Peepal Tree, 2004

The subject of this collection of poems,the lagahoo, is a shapeshifting trickster figure in Trinidadian legend who, like the Native American coyote, operates at both divine and human levels as creator and interferer. As the narrative is written from the perspective of the legendary figure, the twilight world between myth and reality emerges in the lyrical imaginings of this creative, subversive creature who rejects all forms of sexual, social, and political repression

James Rodway Poetry Prize (1994)

CARIBBEAN AWARD WINNING BOOKS

REF WI J Ber 
Berry, James 
A Thief in the Village and Other Stories 
London: Penguin, 1989

Gustas is nearly killed in the hurricane, trying to save his banana tree; Nenna and her brother Man-Man patrol the coconut plantation in the dead of night, ready to catch the interlopers; Becky longs for a bicycle and Fanso longs to find his father who walked out thirteen years ago.

Grand Prix winner of the Smarties Prize (1987)

REF WI 811.54 Be 
Berry, James 
When I dance
London: Hamilton, 1988

This is the author’s first book of poetry aimed specifically at young people as he draws his material from the inner cities of Great Britain from the rural Caribbean to address himself to young people of all cultures ethnic backgrounds.

Signal Poetry Award (1988)

REF WI Cla
Clarke, Austin 
The Polished Hoe 
Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2003

Set on the post-colonial West Indian Island of Bimshire in the thirties and forties, The Polished Hoe unravels over the course of twenty-four hours, but spans the lifetime of one woman and the collective experience of a society characterised by slavery.

W.O. Mitchell Prize (1999)
Giller Prize (2002)

Ref WI Edg 
Edgell, Zee 
Beka Lamb 
Oxford:Heinemann, 1982

Set in Belize, Beka Lamb is the record of a few months in the life of Beka and her family. The story of Beka’s victory over her habit of lying, which she conquers after deceiving her father about a disgrace at school.

Joint Winner of the Fawcett Society Book Prize (1982)

Ref WI Gil 
Gilroy, Beryl 
Frangipani House 
London: Heinemann, 1986

Set in Guyana, it is the story of Mama King, trapped by age and infirmity, but ultimately indomitable. She becomes too much for her family who send her away to Frangipani House, a dreary claustrophobic rest home- but Mama King does not give in. She makes her mark- first through anguish, then her madness and finally by escape to the dangerous, dirty, vital world of the poor.

GLC Black Literature Competition (1985)

Ref WI Gil
Gilroy, Beryl
In for a Penny 
London: Cassell Ltd, 1980

Five short stories about the West Indian teenagers, illustrated with attractive line drawings. The language is straightforward and the stories will appeal to students of all ages in Secondary schools.

GLC Creative Writing Ethnic Minorities Prize (1982)

REF WI Har
Harris, Wilson 
The Carnival Trilogy 
London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1993

This book combines three novels that were first published separately: Carnival, The Infinite Rehearsal and The Four Banks of the River of Space. The three novels ‘re-write’ Western masterpieces and suggest that, however admirable, the world view they present has become obsolete and may endanger the future of humanity.

Guyana National Prize For Fiction (July 1988)

REF WI F Hop 
Hopkinson, Nalo 
Brown Girl in the Ring
New York: Warner Books Inc, 1998

The rich and the privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways- farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths. She must bargain with gods and give birth to new legends.

Locus Award

REF WI F Hop
Hopkinson, Nalo
Midnight Robber 
New York: Warner Books, Inc. 2000

It’s Carnival time and the Caribbean colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance, and pageantry. Masked “Midnight Robbers” waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. But to young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favourite costume to wear at the festival- until her power-corrupted father commits and unforgivable crime.

John W. Campbell Award

REF WI F Lev 
Levy, Andrea
Small Island 
London : Review, 2004

Small Island is the amazing story on the first wave of Jamaicans who arrived in Britain after WWII. A wonderful narrative as Andrea Levy describes the hopes and fears of a group of immigrants who after fighting for the Mother country in the Second World War find that their reception is not the warm embrace they had hoped for. And those opportunities to make a success of life in London are harder to find than they expected.

Orange Prize for Fiction (2004)
Whitbread Book of the Year (2004)
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (2005)

REF WI Mel 
Melville, Pauline 
The Ventriloquist’s Tale 
London: Bloomsbury, 1997

Pauline Melville conjures pictures of the savannah, forest and city life in South America where love is often trumped by disaster. This novel embraces nearly a century, when laughter is never far from tragedy. It is a parable of miscegenation and racial exclusiveness, of nature defying culture. Unforgettable characters illuminate theme and plot.

Whitbread First Novel Award (1997)

REF WI Mel 
Melville, Pauline
Shapeshifter 
London: The Women’s Press Limited, 1990

From Comrade Shakespeare McNab who enlists the help of La Diablesse to retrieve his faltering career at a Caribbean broadcasting station, to the 14-year-old English girl who develops a terror of infinity; Pauline Melville lures the reader into intriguingly different worlds. This is a notably sharp, funny and original story written in a slippery Chameleon language that is a frequent delight.

Commonwealth Writers Prize (1990) 
Guardian Fiction Prize
MacMillan Silver Pen Award

REF WI Per
Persaud, Sasenarine 
Canada Geese and Apple Chatney Stories 
Toronto: Tsar, 1998.

The author presents us with his unique vision of lives North American and Caribbean. Here are voices probing at differences which are and aren’t: all threaded together by the ancestral India of the protagonists’ imagination, the Caribbean of their childhood, the Toronto or New York of their recent years.

K.M Hunter Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award
Caribbean Heritage Award (1998)

WI F Phi 
Phillips, Caryl
A Distant Shore
New York, N.Y.: Knopf: Distributed by Random House 2003

A Distant Shore tells the story of two people, both lonely and outside the mainstream of society. Dorothy is retired teacher, Solomon is an African refugee, and they cross paths where they both live in a small English village. Their friendship ends when Solomon is murdered by racist thugs. Caryl Phillips tells their story, reflecting back on their lives once Solomon is murdered.

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (2004)

REF WI Ric 
Richmond, Angus 
The Open Prison 
London: Hansib Publishing Limited, 1988

Angela, a sensitive and disturbed child, growing up on the estate of her white guardian in British Guiana, is slowly and painfully awakened to a society in turmoil, in which both black and white are struggling to reassert their roles during the period of economic instability prior to the First World War.

GLC Award (1985)

REF WI Rhy 
Rhys, Jean
Wide Sargasso Sea 
Great Britain: Andre Deutsch, 1966

Jean Rhys rescues the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and brings her to life as the beautiful and tragic Antoinette Cosway. The story takes us to Antoinette’s beguiling Caribbean island, a lush and ravaged Eden ripped apart by escalating tensions between the former slaves and the Creole heiress’s colonial family.

Royal Society Of Literature Award (1966)
W.H. Smith Award (1966)

REF WI Shi 
Shinebourne, Janice 
Time Piece 
Yorkshire: Peepal Tree Press.

This novel explores the connections between personal and political integrity and reflects sensitively on the position of women in Guyanese society. Sandra Yansen must leave behind the close ties of family and village when she takes a job as a reporter in Georgetown. After establishing a tenuous footing in the city, Sandra is summoned home, where she encounters the enduring matriarchy of her mother’s friends. Their values sustain Sandra in her search for independence.

Guyana Literacy Prize

Ref WI Sen 
Senior, Olive 
Summer Lightning and Other Stories
Trinidad and Jamaica: Longman Caribbean Limited, 1968

Set in rural Jamaica, naïve and vulnerable heroes bring to life with power and realism issues such as snobbery, ambition, jealousy, faith and love.

Commonwealth Writers Prize (1987)
Musgrave Gold Medal (2005)

REF WI 972.9305 3092 Tu
Turits, Richard Lee
Foundations of Despotism 
Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2003

This book explores the history of the Dominican Republic as it evolved from the first European colony in the Americas into a modern nation under the rule of Rafael Trujillo. It investigates the social foundations of Trujillo’s exceptionally enduring and brutal dictatorship (1930-1961) and, more broadly, the way power is sustained in such non-democratic regimes.

Outstanding Academic Title Award (2003)
John Edwin Fagg Prize (2003) 
Bolton-Johnson Prize (2004)

REF WI 811.5 Go 
Goulbourne, Jean
Woman Song
Leeds: Peepal Tree, 2002

This is a celebration of women who, through their resistance, creativity, and assertion of selfhood, have made a space for themselves. The celebration of such lives stands as a beacon of hope in the depiction of woman’s place in a Jamaican society where abuse, poverty, and abandonment are pervasive. Jean Goulbourne articulates the grief, hopes, and unquenchable spirit of resistance of black women in the Caribbean.

Jamaica National Literary Prize in (1993)

THE HISTORY OF AWARDS

W.O. MITCHELL LITERARY PRIZE
The award was established after W.O. Mitchell's death in Calgary in 1997, and was first given out in 1998. It is awarded annually to a writer who has both produced an outstanding body of work and served as a mentor to other authors. The prize is worth $15,000 and is administered by the Writer's Development Trust and a prize committee. The rules of the prize stipulate that every third year the winner must be francophone.

THE COMMONWEALTH WRITER'S PRIZE
The Commonwealth Writers' Prize was established in 1987. It awards £10,000 to the best book submitted, £3,000 to the best first book, and £1,000 each to the best book and best first book of an author in each of the four Commonwealth regions, South East Asia and the South Pacific, Eurasia, Africa, the Caribbean and Canada. The prize is sponsored and organised by the Commonwealth Foundation.

THE MUSGRAVE GOLD MEDAL
The Musgrave Gold Medal is awarded for distinguished eminence in Literature, Science or Art. The medal was first awarded in 1941.

THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION
The Orange Prize for Fiction is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes, awarded annually for the best original full-length novel by a female author of any nationality, written in English and published in the UK in the preceding year.The winner of the prize receives £30,000, along with a bronze sculpture called the "Bessie" created by artist Grizel Niven.

THE WHITBREAD BOOK AWARDS
The Whitbread Book Awards are among the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary awards. The awards are named after and funded by Whitbread plc, a leading British leisure company.The awards, launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience.

THE SIGNAL POETRY AWARD
The Award (1979-2001) was given annually for particular excellence in one of the following areas: single-poet collections; poetry anthologies; the body of work of a contemporary poet; critical or educational activity that promotes poetry for children.

THE GILLER PRIZE
The Giller Prize awards $25,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. The award was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honor of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.

JOHN LLEWELLYN RHYS PRIZE
The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, founded 63 years ago in honour of the writer John Llewellyn Rhys, who was killed in action in the Second World War, is open to British and Commonwealth writers of fiction and non-fiction aged 35 or under.

THE LOCUS AWARDS
The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazine’s annual readers' poll, which was established in the early '70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters and unlike any other award, explicitly honour publishers of winning works with certificates.

THE JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARDS
John W. Campbell Award is given to the best new science fiction or fantasy writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy appearing in a professional publication was published in the previous two years.

THE MACMILLAN SILVER PEN AWARD 
This award was given to an outstanding collection of short stories, written in English by an author of British nationality, and published in the UK in the preceeding year. The award was sponsored by Macmillan and S.T. Dupont. The winner also received a cheque for £500.

THE GUARDIAN FICTION PRIZE
Awarded since 1965 by the Guardian, this prize is worth £10,000 to the winner. The selection is made by a panel of critics and writers, chaired by the Literary Editor of the Guardian. This is the oldest and best established of the awards sponsored by a newspaper. In 1999 the prize was altered. It is now the Guardian First Book Award, and is no longer restricted to fiction.

THE K.M. HUNTER ARTISTS AWARDS
The K.M. Hunter Artists Awards are funded annually by the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation to support projects that advance an individual's career. The award amount is $8000 per award category.

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE AWARD
An annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction or non-fiction evoking the spirit of a place. (This prize was established in 2003, replacing The Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, which was awarded for the best regional novel of the year.)

THE W.H. SMITH AWARD
Founded in 1959 to "encourage and bring international esteem to authors of the British Commonwealth," the WH Smith Award is for an author whose book "makes, in the opinion of the judges, the most significant contribution to literature." Authors from the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, or the Irish Republic are eligible. Judging is done by an independent panel of three judges who call in books from publishers. After they have chosen a shortlist a Guest Judge joins them for the selection of the winner. The current value of the award is £10,000.

THE SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD
Created and endowed in 1947 by Somerset Maugham to enable British authors under the age of 35 to enrich their writing by spending time abroad. It is administered by the Society of Authors; recently there have been several winners each year, each of whom receives £3500. The awards are not limited to fiction, though dramatic works are excluded from consideration.

THE JOHN EDWIN FAGG PRIZE
The John Edwin Fagg Prize is awarded for Best Publication in the History of Spain, Portugal, or Latin America and is sponsored by the American Historical Association.

THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as simply the Booker Prize, is one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original full-length novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in the English language. A separate prize for which any living author in the world may qualify, the Man Booker International Prize, was inaugurated in 2005.The prize money awarded with the Booker Prize was originally £21,000, and was subsequently raised to £50,000 in 2002 under the sponsorship of Man Group.

THE HAWTHORNDEN PRIZE
The Hawthornden Prize is the oldest of the major British literary prizes and was founded in 1919 by Miss Alice Warrender. It is awarded annually to an English writer for "the best work of imaginative literature," which is liberally interpreted and thus may include biography, travel, art history, etc, as well as fiction and drama. There is no competition; books do not have to be, and in fact cannot be, submitted. A panel of judges decides the winner. Young authors are particularly encouraged. The current value of the prize is £10,000.

THE AMERICAN BOOK AWARD
The American Book Award was established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation. It seeks to recognize outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors, without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre. It formed partially in response to more restrictive or ordered awards such as the National Book Awards.