Yu, Payne, Callender, Mosley win at 71st National Book Awards

Yu, Payne, Callender, Mosley win at 71st National Book Awards

During the first 30 years of the National Book Awards in the US, only three writers of colour won prizes; last night, at the (virtual) 71st instalment, in this year of George Floyd and a pandemic that has disproportionately afflicted people of colour, almost every person who took home a book award was Black or Asian.

There were surprises in the nominees, and surprises in who won, most notably in Charles Yu’s fiction win for Interior Chinatown (Pantheon in the US, Europa in the UK). Tears were shed and real, true, positive emotion communicated, a moving rebuke to the political climate of th...

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