The National Book Critics Circle tonight gave their 2009 fiction award to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. The historical novel set in 1520s England about Thomas Cromwell won Britain’s coveted Booker Prize last fall.
I’m disappointed Bonnie Jo Campbell didn’t win for American Salvage (Wayne State University Press), but what great praise to have been a finalist not only for this award in fiction but also the 2009 National Book Award. As posted on TLC last November: “…American Salvage seemed to come out of nowhere. And so I discovered the work of a talented writer who can take readers into jobless, drug-addicted fictional lives with narrative intimacy and beauty without ignoring or simplifying the ugliness.”
Here are the National Book Critics Circle award winners in all the categories.
- The fiction award went to Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall (Henry Holt).
- The nonfiction award went to Richard Holmes for The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (Pantheon).
- The autobiography award went to Diana Athill for Somewhere Towards the End (W. W. Norton). See the March 8 TLC post.
- The biography award went to Blake Bailey for Cheever: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf).
- The criticism award went to Eula Biss for Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays (Graywolf Press).
- The poetry award went to Rae Armantrout for Versed (Wesleyan University Press).