A host of literary honors were announced at the close of last week, including the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award, two world-spanning book prizes, and an award for Canadian fiction.
Last Thursday, Rae Armantrout took the NBCC prize in poetry for Versed (Wesleyan University Press), and Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel won for her novel Wolf Hall (Holt). Diana Athill's Somewhere Towards the End (Norton) won the prize in autobiography.
The international literature resource Three Percent, housed at the University of Rochester, awarded its Best Translated Book Award last week at Idlewild Books in New York City. The winner in poetry was Elena Fanailova's The Russian Version (Ugly Duckling Presse), translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandle. Gail Hareven's The Confessions of Noa Weber (Melville House), translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu, won in fiction. Three Percent gives the award to honor international books of poetry and fiction published in the United States during the previous year.
After a week of debates broadcast by Canada's Radio One, Montreal author Nicolas Dickner's novel Nikolski beat out four other titles to win the Canadian Broadcasting Company's Canada Reads competition. His book, translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler, will be released in a U.S. trade paperback edition in May by Trumpeter Books.
Eight writers from nations of the British Commonwealth received regional book awards from the Commonwealth Foundation. The four regions represented are Africa, the Carribean and Canada, South Asia and Europe, and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The winners for debut books are Adaobi Tricia Nwaubeni of Nigeria for I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Hyperion); Shandi Mitchell of Canada for Under This Unbroken Sky (Harper); Daniyal Mueenuddin from Pakistan for In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Norton); and Glenda Guest from Australia for Siddon Rock (Random House). Marié Heese of South Africa won Best Book for The Double Crown (Human & Rousseau); Michael Crummey of Canada won for Galore (Doubleday Canada); Rana Dasgupta of the United Kingdom won for Solo (Fourth Estate); and Albert Wendt of Samoa won for The Adventures of Vela (Huia). The winning debut titles from this round will go on to compete for a five-thousand-pound prize, and the "Best Book" honorees have the opportunity to win a ten-thousand-pound award, announced on April 12.