Winners of 2013 National Book Awards announced

Story highlights

James McBride wins for "The Good Lord Bird"

The National Book Foundation presents awards to winners in four categories

Established in 1950, the accolade is one of the most prestigious U.S. literary awards

CNN  — 

James McBride won the National Book Award for fiction Wednesday night for “The Good Lord Bird.”

Each year the National Book Foundation presents awards to winners in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature.

The four winners were announced in a ceremony in New York hosted by Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

George Packer won the nonfiction award for “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.” Mary Szybist won the poetry award for “Incarnadine: Poems,” while Cynthia Kadohata won the young people’s literature award for “The Thing About Luck.”

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the United States. Past recipients include William Faulkner, Alice Walker, Philip Roth and Adrienne Rich.

The winners were narrowed down from a pool of 1,432 submissions. A five-judge panel of writers, literary critics and booksellers in each category came up with a list of 10 titles announced in September and narrowed it down to five finalists in October.

Among this year’s finalists were journalists, historians, Pulitzer Prize winners and past National Book Award winners and finalists, including Thomas Pynchon, who won the National Book Award in 1974 for “Gravity’s Rainbow,” and Rachel Kushner, whose debut novel “Telex From Cuba” was a 2008 National Book Award finalist.

Here is a list of this year’s finalists:


Rachel Kushner, “The Flamethrowers

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    Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Lowland

    James McBride, “The Good Lord Bird” (WINNER)

    Thomas Pynchon, “Bleeding Edge

    George Saunders, “Tenth of December


    Jill Lepore, “Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

    Wendy Lower, “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

    George Packer, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America” (WINNER)

    Alan Taylor, “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

    Lawrence Wright, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief


    Frank Bidart, “Metaphysical Dog

    Lucie Brock-Broido, “Stay, Illusion

    Adrian Matejka, “The Big Smoke

    Matt Rasmussen, “Black Aperture

    Mary Szybist, “Incarnadine: Poems” (WINNER)

    Young people’s literature

    Kathi Appelt, “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

    Cynthia Kadohata, “The Thing About Luck” (WINNER)

    Tom McNeal, “Far Far Away

    Meg Rosoff, “Picture Me Gone

    Gene Luen Yang, “Boxers & Saints