National Book Awards honor top writers

By: Jonathan Bennett

The annual National Book Awards, run by the National Book Fund, took place recently in New York City and the who’s who of literature were in attendance. The Los Angeles Times reports the top winners of the night were novelist Louise Erdrich and journalist Katherine Boo.

Erdrich was honored in the fiction category for her novel, “The Round House,” which discusses the life of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Boo was awarded a prize in the nonfiction category for her book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in Mumbai Undercity.” The book follows the life of an impoverished family in the Annawadi slum for three years.

Famed writer Elmore Leonard was honored with one of the most prestigious recognition awards of the night, the foundation’s lifetime achievement award, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

“I’m energized by this award,” Leonard said during his acceptance speech, according to the publication. “The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life is have a good time writing stories. This award tells me I’m still at it.”

Leonard’s official website reports the writer, 87, has written 45 novels thus far and is currently working on his 46th.