Featured: Adults

Check out these various literary award winners from 2011.

The Man Booker Prize

The Sense of an Ending

by Julian Barnes

This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about until his oldest friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all of this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider various things, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and his place in the world.

National Book Award for Fiction

Salvage the Bones

by Jesmyn Ward

Finalist for 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. 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.

National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Inside Out & Back Again

by Thanhha Lai

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. Inspired by the author’s own childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam as a refugee and immigrating to Alabama, this tween novel told in verse is sure to capture young readers’ hearts and open their eyes.

 

National Book Award for Nonfiction

The Swerve : How the World Became Modern

by Stephen Greenblatt

This engaging history of the birth of modernity and the Renaissance explores the rediscovery and popularization of Lucretious’ poem On The Nature of Things, by the book collector Poggio Bracciolini in the fifteenth century, and the impact of the ideas of humanism and science it contained on future generations form Galileo to Einstein. The work is engaging and appropriate for general readers with an interest in the history of science and the Renaissance. Greenblatt is a professor of the humanities at Harvard University. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Hugo Award

Blackout

by Connie Willis

When a time-travel lab suddenly cancels assignments for no apparent reason and switches around everyone’s schedules, time-traveling historians Michael, Merope, and Polly find themselves in World War II, facing air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history–to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control.

All Clear

by Connie Willis

When three Oxford historians become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission. Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle to find them.

 

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

A Visit From the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.

 

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Washington: A Life

by Ron Chernow

In “Washington: A Life” celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation, dashing forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man, and revealing an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people.

 

Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer–from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with–and perished from–for more than five thousand years.

Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction

Almost Heaven

by Chris Fabry

Billy, a gifted mandolin player in Dogwood, West Virginia, lives his life as an offering to his divine creator. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. He begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.

 

RITA Award for Regency Historical Romance

The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas

by Lauren Willig

In this irresistible Regency Christmas caper, Arabella Dempsey accepts a position at a quiet girls’ school in Bath, but she hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies. Guest appearances by Dempsey’s best friend Jane Austen and characters from previous installments of the Pink Carnation series round out the laugh-out-loud holiday-themed romance of intrigue.

 

RITA Award for Young Adult Romance

The Iron King

by Julie Kagawa

“Meghan Chase has a secret destiny–one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth–that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.”–p.[4] of cover.

 

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