Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gordon Wins National Book Award

Dear friends of the English Department,

This is to let you know that Jaimy Gordon is this year's recipient of the National Book Award in the "Fiction" category for her 2010 novel Lord of Misrule. To contextualize the significance of her success, please consider this: In 1950, publishers, editors, writers, and critics decided to celebrate the first annual National Book Awards, an award given to writers by their own peers. The American Book Publisher’s Council, The Book Manufacturers’ Institute, and The American Booksellers’ Association jointly sponsored the Awards, bringing together the American literary community for the first time to honor the year’s outstanding achievements in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In later years, Science, Philosophy and Religion, History and Biography, Arts and Letters, Translation, Contemporary Thought, Autobiography, First Novel, Original Paperback, and Children’s Book were added as categories. Over the years, recipients in "Fiction" have included the likes of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Thornton Wilder, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Susan Sontag, and Peter Mathiessen, to name but a few. For the National Book Foundation's page on Jaimy's award and novel, please see HERE.

Please join me in congratulating Jaimy who, by winning this prestigious award, brings attention to our excellent Creative Writing Program, department, college, and university. Jaimy's award comes after last year's nomination of alumna Bonnie Jo Campbell for the same high honor.

With collegial regards and congrats to Jaimy,

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