National Book Awards Names 2019 Winners

November 20, 2019 | 5 books mentioned

The 2019 National Book Award winners were announced in New York City tonight. The big prize for fiction went to Trust Exercise by Susan Choi. (Bonus: Read our 2019 interview with Choi).

 In his opening remarks for the 70th annual ceremony, host Levar Burton spoke about the power of books personally and politically.

During his speech, Burton—television’s most beloved bibliophile—credited his mother with instilling him with a lifelong love of literature, and went on to wax poetic about the power of literacy: “Literature is the birthright of every one of us—if you can read in at least one language, you are in my definition, free. No one can pull the wool over your eyes.”

As for the awards, they went as follows:

The award in the Young People’s Literature category went to 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler.

The award for translated literature went to Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai; translated by Ottilie Mulzet. (Bonus: Read our review).

The poetry award went to Arthur Sze for Sight Lines.

The nonfiction award went to The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom.

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Bonus Links: Earlier in the year, we dove into both the shortlist and the longlist to share excerpts and reviews where available.

is an associate editor for The Millions. She works in academic publishing by day and is a freelance writer and book reviewer by night. She tweets at @CarolynQuimby.

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