Whitehead, Lewis win National Book Awards

Whitehead, Lewis win National Book Awards


On a night of nervous laughter and cathartic tears and applause, Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” won the National Book Award for fiction and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis, of Georgia, shared the prize for young people’s literature for a graphic novel about his civil-rights activism titled “March.”

The awards were presented Wednesday. Daniel Borzutzky’s “The Performance of Becoming Human” won for poetry and historian Robert Caro was presented an honorary medal for lifetime achievement.

Actress Posey works on off-beat memoir


Parker Posey, a longtime favorite in the independent film community, is planning a book with an off-beat spirit.

Blue Rider Press has acquired the actress’ “You’re On An Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir in Monologues, Crafts and Recipes.”

Posey is calling the book, which is scheduled to come out next year, a printed version of stories she’s been telling friends. Her publisher describes it as a mix of “observational humor and personal history.”

The 48-year-old Posey has appeared in films by Richard Linklater, Noah Baumbach, Hal Hartley and other independent directors. Her TV credits include “Boston Legal” and “The Good Wife.”

‘Birds of Opulence’ wins Gaines award


The 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence goes to Kentucky writer, poet and educator Crystal Wilkinson for her debut novel, “Birds of Opulence.”

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation hands out the $10,000 prize and award, which recognizes outstanding work from rising African-American fiction writers, annually. It will be presented Jan. 19 in a free ceremony that’s open to the public.

“Birds of Opulence” follows several generations of women who are plagued by mental illness and illegitimacy.

Associated Press

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