Peter Matthiessen took the National Book Award in fiction last night for Shadow Country, beating out favorites Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project) and Marilynne Robinson (Home).
Winners in other categories:
Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello.
Young People's Literature: Judith Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied.
Poetry: Mark Doty, Fire to Fire.
Honorary awards: Maxine Hong Kingston and Barney Rosset.
According to Publisher's Weekly, "Obama's election was a recurring theme among the evening speakers" (which was equally true at the Oregon Book Awards a few weeks ago; one winner thanked "the whole electorate of the United States"). Read the Times' complete coverage of last night's ceremony here.
So, if you're compiling an awards-based to-read list: Shadow Country; Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize-winning The White Tiger (reading it now and don't understand the fuss, but then I'm not too far into it yet); and the Oregon Book Award-winning Bearing the Body, which you can win here.