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National Book Award Fiction

( National Book Foundation )



Round House, The
by Erdrich, Louise

9780062065247Louise ErdrichThe Round HouseThe Round House won the National Book Award for fiction. One of the most revered novelists of our time--a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life--Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich's The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction--at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
LEISURE FICTION LOU
Publication Date:
2012




Corrections, The
by Franzen, Jonathan

9780374129989Jonathan FranzenThe Corrections Winner of the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award An American Library Association Notable Book Jonathan Franzen's third novel, The Corrections , is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy. With The Corrections , Franzen emerges as one of our premier interpreters of American society and the American soul. Enid Lambert is terribly, terribly anxious. Although she would never admit it to her neighbors or her three grown children, her husband, Alfred, is losing his grip on reality. Maybe it's the medication that Alfred takes for his Parkinson's disease, or maybe it's his negative attitude, but he spends his days brooding in the basement and committing shadowy, unspeakable acts. More and more often, he doesn't seem to understand a word Enid says. Trouble is also brewing in the lives of Enid's children. Her older son, Gary, a banker in Philadelphia, has turned cruel and materialistic and is trying to force his parents out of their old house and into a tiny apartment. The middle child, Chip, has suddenly and for no good reason quit his exciting job as a professor at D------ College and moved to New York City, where he seems to be pursuing a "transgressive" lifestyle and writing some sort of screenplay. Meanwhile the baby of the family,Denise, has escaped her disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man--or so Gary hints. Enid, who loves to have fun, can still look forward to a final family Christmas and to the ten-day Nordic Pleasurelines Luxury Fall Color Cruise that she and Alfred are about to embark on. But even these few remaining joys are threatened by her husband's growing confusion and unsteadiness. As Alfred enters his final decline, the Lamberts must face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3556 .R352 C67 2001
Publication Date:
2001




Cold Mountain
by Frazier, Charles

9780871136794Charles FrazierCold MountainCold Mountain is an extraordinary novel about a soldier's perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War. At once a magnificent love story and a harrowing account of one man's long walk home, Cold Mountain introduces a stunning new talent in American literature. Based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded soldier, Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. Inman's odyssey through the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman and Ada confront the vastly transformed world they've been delivered. Charles Frazier reveals marked insight into man's relationship to the land and the dangers of solitude. He also shares with the great nineteenth century novelists a keen observation of a society undergoing change. Cold Mountain re-creates a world gone by that speaks eloquently to our time. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3556 .R3599 C6 1997
Publication Date:
1997










Redeployment
by Klay, Phil

9781594204999Phil KlayRedeploymentWinner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction;· Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize;· Selected as one of the best books of the year by; The New York Times Book Review Time Newsweek The Washington Post Book World ;Amazon, and more National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree; New York Times; Bestseller Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains--of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming. Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3611.L4423 A6 2014
Publication Date:
2014




Shadow Country
by Matthiessen, Peter

9780679640196Peter MatthiessenShadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend2008 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER Peter Matthiessen''s great American epic-Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man''s River, and Bone by Bone-was conceived as one vast mysterious novel, but because of its length it was originally broken up into three books. In this bold new rendering, Matthiessen has cut nearly a third of the overall text and collapsed the time frame while deepening the insights and motivations of his characters with brilliant rewriting throughout. In Shadow Country, he has marvelously distilled a monumental work, realizing his original vision. Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son. Shadow Country traverses strange landscapes and frontier hinterlands inhabited by Americans of every provenance and color, including the black and Indian inheritors of the archaic racism that, as Watson''s wife observed, "still casts its shadow over the nation." Peter Matthiessen''s lyrical and illuminating work in the Watson narrative has been praised highly by such contemporaries as Saul Bellow, William Styron, and W. S. Merwin. Joseph Heller said "I read it in great gulps, up each night later than I wanted to be, in my hungry impatience to find out more and more." Praise for Shadow Country " Shadow Country is altogether gripping, shocking, and brilliantly told , not just a tour de force in its stylistic range, but a great American novel, as powerful a reading experience as nearly any in our literature. This magnificent, sad masterpiece about race, history, and defeated dreams can easily stand comparison with Ralph Ellison''s Invisible Man and Robert Penn Warren''s All the King''s Men . Little wonder, too, that parts of the story of E.J. Watson call up comparisons with Dostoevsky, Conrad, and, inevitably, Faulkner . In every way, Shadow Country is a bravura performance, at once history, fiction, and myth-as well as the capstone to the career of one of the most admired and admirable writers of our time ." -- The New York Review of Books "Magnificent and capacious.... I''ll just say right here that the book took my sleeve and like the ancient mariner would not let go. Matthiessen has made his three-part saga into a new thing.... Finally now we have these books welded like a bell, and with Watson''s song the last sound, all the elements fuse and resonate....a breathtaking saga." -- The Los Angeles Times " Gorgeously written and unfailingly compelling, Shadow Country is the exhilarating masterwork of [Matthiessen''s] career, every bit as ambitious as Moby Dick ." -- National Geographic Adventure magazine "Peter Mattiessen consolidates his epic masterpiece of Florida -- and crafts something even better...[He] deserves credit for decades of meticulous research and obsessive details and soaring prose that converted the Watson legend into critically acclaimed literature....Anyone wanting an explanation for what happened to Florida can now find it in a single novel, a great American novel ." -- Miami Herald "Matthiessen is writing about one man''s life in Shadow Country , but he is also writing about the life of the nation over the course of half a century. Watson''s story is essentially the story of the American frontier, of the conquering of wild lands and people, and of what such empires cost.... Even among a body of work as magnificent as Matthiessen''s, this is his great book. " -- St. Petersburg Times " Shadow Country is a magnum opus . Matthiessen is meticulous in creating characters, lyrical in describing landscapes, and resolute in dissecting the values and costs that accompanied the development of this nation." -- Seattle Times "Shadow Country" is an ambitious, lasting, and meaningful work of literature that will not soon fade away. It is a testament to Mr. Matthiessen''s integrity as an artist that he felt compelled to return to the Watson material to produce this work and satisfy his original vision....a multifaceted work that can be read variously or simultaneously as a psychological novel, a historical novel, a morality tale, a political allegory, or a mystery. -- East Hampton Star "Matthiessen''s Watson trilogy is a touchstone of modern American literature ...this reworking...is remarkable....Where Watson was a magnificent character before, he comes across as nothing short of iconic here; it''s difficult to find another figure in American literature so thoroughly and confincingly portrayed. " -- Publishers Weekly , starred review, Pick of the Week "Matthiessen has reinvigorated and rejoined the trilogy''s novels...a mosaic about the life and lynch-mob death of a turn-of-the century Florida Everglades sugar planter and serial killer named E. J. Watson -- into the 900-plus-page Shadow Country . This is no mere repackaging: Four hundred pages were cut from the novels, previous background characters now tromp to the foreground, and the books'' rangy, Faulknerian essence is rendered more digestible. Deliciously digestible , that is; this is a thick porterhouse of a novel ." -- Men''s Journal "The fiction of Peter Matthiessen is the reason a lot of people in my generation decided to be writers. No doubt about it. SHADOW COUNTRY lives up to anyone''s highest expectations for great writing ." -- Richard Ford "Peter Matthiessen is a brilliantly gifted and ambitious writer, an inspired anatomist of the American mythos. His storytelling skills are prodigious and his rapport with his subject is remarkable." -- Joyce Carol Oates "Peter Matthiessen''s work, both in fiction and non-fiction, has become a unique achievement in his own generation and in American literature as a whole. Everything that he has written has been conveyed in his own clear, deeply informed, elegant and powerful prose. The Watson saga-in-the-round, to which he has devoted nearly thirty years, is his crowning achievement . SHADOW COUNTRY, his distillation of the earlier trilogy, is his transmutation of it to represent his original vision. It is the quintessence of his lifelong concerns, and a great legacy ." -- W.S. Merwin - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3563 .A8584 S53 2008
Publication Date:
2008







Let the Great World Spin
by McCann, Colum

9780812973990Colum McCannLet the Great World SpinNATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * Colum McCann's beloved novel inspired by Philippe Petit's daring high-wire stunt, which is also depicted in the film The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann's stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people. Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author's most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann's powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city's people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the "artistic crime of the century." A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a "fiercely original talent" ( San Francisco Chronicle ), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal. Praise for Let the Great World Spin "This is a gorgeous book, multilayered and deeply felt, and it's a damned lot of fun to read, too. Leave it to an Irishman to write one of the greatest-ever novels about New York. There's so much passion and humor and pure lifeforce on every page of Let the Great World Spin that you'll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed." --Dave Eggers "Stunning . . . [an] elegiac glimpse of hope . . . It's a novel rooted firmly in time and place. It vividly captures New York at its worst and best. But it transcends all that. In the end, it's a novel about families--the ones we're born into and the ones we make for ourselves." -- USA Today "The first great 9/11 novel . . . We are all dancing on the wire of history, and even on solid ground we breathe the thinnest of air." -- Esquire "Mesmerizing . . . a Joycean look at the lives of New Yorkers changed by a single act on a single day . . . Colum McCann's marvelously rich novel . . . weaves a portrait of a city and a moment, dizzyingly satisfying to read and difficult to put down." -- The Seattle Times "Vibrantly whole . . . With a series of spare, gorgeously wrought vignettes, Colum McCann brings 1970s New York to life. . . . And as always, McCann's heart-stoppingly simple descriptions wow." -- Entertainment Weekly "An act of pure bravado, dizzying proof that to keep your balance you need to know how to fall." -- O: The Oprah Magazine From the Hardcover edition. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PR6063 .C335 L47
Publication Date:
2009







Shipping News, The
by Proulx, E. Annie

9780671510053Annie Proulx (Adapted by)The Shipping NewsWinner of the Pulitzer Prize, Annie Proulx's The Shipping News is a vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary North American family. Quoyle, a third-rate newspaper hack, with a "head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair...features as bunched as kissed fingertips," is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife meets her just desserts. An aunt convinces Quoyle and his two emotionally disturbed daughters to return with her to the starkly beautiful coastal landscape of their ancestral home in Newfoundland. Here, on desolate Quoyle's Point, in a house empty except for a few mementos of the family's unsavory past, the battered members of three generations try to cobble up new lives. Newfoundland is a country of coast and cove where the mercury rarely rises above seventy degrees, the local culinary delicacy is cod cheeks, and it's easier to travel by boat and snowmobile than on anything with wheels. In this harsh place of cruel storms, a collapsing fishery, and chronic unemployment, the aunt sets up as a yacht upholsterer in nearby Killick-Claw, and Quoyle finds a job reporting the shipping news for the local weekly, the Gammy Bird (a paper that specializes in sexual-abuse stories and grisly photos of car accidents). As the long winter closes its jaws of ice, each of the Quoyles confronts private demons, reels from catastrophe to minor triumph--in the company of the obsequious Mavis Bangs; Diddy Shovel the strongman; drowned Herald Prowse; cane-twirling Beety; Nutbeem, who steals foreign news from the radio; a demented cousin the aunt refuses to recognize; the much-zippered Alvin Yark; silent Wavey; and old Billy Pretty, with his bag of secrets. By the time of the spring storms Quoyle has learned how to gut cod, to escape from a pickle jar, and to tie a true lover's knot. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3566.R697 S4 1994B
Publication Date:
1993




Sabbath's Theater
by Roth, Philip

9781598530780Philip Roth; Ross Miller (Editor)Philip Roth - Novels, 1993-1995: Operation Shylock - Sabbath's TheaterThe Library of America's definitive edition of Philip Roth's collected works continues with two novels that heralded the beginning of a more than decade-long creative explosion-one remarkable in an older writer and hailed by critics as unparalleled in American literary history. In the diabolically imaginative Operation Shylock (1993), a character named Philip Roth encounters a look-alike who claims Roth's identity and who tours Israel promoting a bizarre reverse exodus of the Jews-proselytizing the "real" Roth is intent on stopping, even if it means impersonating his impersonator. "This splendidly wicked book" is how the critic Frank Kermode described Sabbath's Theater (1995), a comic masterpiece of epic proportions whose gargantuan hero, Mickey Sabbath, grieving the loss of his unsurpassable mistress, embarks on a turbulent journey into his past besieged by the ghosts of those who loved and hated him most. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3568 .O855 A6 2010
Publication Date:
1995




Europe Central
by Vollmann, William T.

9780670033928William T. VollmannEurope CentralAudacious. Wildly ambitious. Prolific. All describe William T. Vollmann, author of the seven- volume nonfiction work Rising Upand Rising Downand the “Seven Dreams” sequence of novels, which the Chicago Tribunehailed as “likely to become one of the masterpieces of the century.”In Europe Central, Vollmann presents a mesmerizing series of intertwined paired stories that compare and contrast the moral decisions made by various figures—some famous, some infamous, some unknown—associated with the warring authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century. He conjures up two generals, one Russian and one German, who collaborate with the enemy for different reasons and with different results. Another pairing tells of two heroes—a female Russian partisan martyred at the beginning of World War II and a young German man who joins the SS in order to reveal its secrets and halt its crimes. Several stories concern the complex and elusive Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the Stalinist assaults against his work and life; also explored are the fates of artists and poets such as Käthe Kollwitz, Anna Akhmatova, and the documentary filmmaker Roman Karmen. Europe Centralis another high-wire act of fiction by a writer of prodigious talent. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3572 .0395 E97 2005
Publication Date:
2005




Salvage the Bones
by Ward, Jesmyn

9781608195220Jesmyn WardSalvage the Bones A stunning new voice from the Gulf Coast delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. Winner of the 2011 National Book Award A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family--motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce--pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3623.A7323 S36
Publication Date:
2011









Information

Award Description
The National Book Award was initiated in the 1950s and presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prior year. The purpose of the awards is "to raise the cultural appreciation of great writing in America."

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