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Finalists for 2014 National Book Critics Circle Awards; Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award to Toni Morrison

How to be Both

The National Book Critics Circle has announced finalists for its annual literary awards, given to the best autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, and poetry of 2014. Please join us in congratulating the following Random House authors: David Brion Davis, a finalist in general nonfiction for The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation; Peter Finn and Petra Couvée, finalists in general nonfiction for The Zhivago Affair; and Gary Shteyngart, a finalist in autobiography for Little Failure. The NBCC also announced that Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison has received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a novelist, editor, professor and cultural critic. Winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced on March 12 at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in New York.

Jhumpa Lahiri wins $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

How to be Both

Congratulations to Jhumpa Lahiri, who has won the $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her novel The Lowland. The chair of judges, Keki Daruwalla, described The Lowland as "a superb novel written in restrained prose with moments of true lyricism . . . by a writer at the height of her powers." Instituted in 2010, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing.

Lee Sandlin Passes Away at 58


We are sad to announce that Lee Sandlin died suddenly on December 13th at his home in Chicago. He was 58. Sandlin's Editor, Timothy O'Connell, said, "Lee was a true American bard, a storyteller of the old school, with an immense mind. He found beauty and significance in people and things often overlooked or taken for granted and he brought these things to life on the page with such style and grace that working with him was the greatest gift an editor could ask for. When his manuscripts arrived in my inbox I never knew where he would take me, but I always knew it would be an intimate journey, unspooled with utter mastery." Sandlin's most recent hardcover title Storm Kings, was published by Pantheon in 2013; that same year, Vintage also published a trade paperback original, The Distancers.

Ken Haruf Passes Away at 71


We are deeply saddened to report the death of Kent Haruf on 30 November 2014 at the age of 71. Haruf was the author of several novels set in the small town of Holt, Colorado, including Plainsong (1999), a finalist for the National Book Award, Eventide (2004) and Benediction (2013), a finalist for the inaugural Folio Prize, awarded by the Folio Society in Britain. Haruf's many honors include a Whiting Foundation Writers' Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. As Ursula K. Le Guin wrote earlier this year of Benediction: "Haruf is in fact a stunningly original writer in a great many ways. . . . His courage and achievement in exploring ordinary forms of love . . . are unsurpassed by anything I know in contemporary fiction." Mr. Haruf recently completed his sixth novel—Our Souls at Night—which will be published next year.

Mark Strand Passes Away at 80


We deeply mourn the death of poet Mark Strand, who passed away on 29 November 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. Strand authored many books of poems, a book of stories, and three volumes of translations. He was the editor of several anthologies, and received numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize (for Blizzard of One), the Bollingen Prize, and the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. Strand's Editor, Deborah Garrison, said, "Mark's poetry will be read as long as people still read. Over five decades, his exquisite eerie music and the breathtaking shapeliness of his poems became a necessary accompaniment to the chaotic unshapeliness of our time, and set a high standard for the several generations of American poets who have followed him." Strand published Collected Poems this fall, a few months after his eightieth birthday.

In Brief
The 2014 Costa Book Award category winners have been announced. Please join us in congratulating Ali Smith, who has won the Novel Award for How to be Both. The Costa Book Award, formerly known as the Whitbread Prize, is now in its 43rd year and is one of the UK's most popular literary prizes. It is open solely to authors who live in the UK and Ireland. Each category winner has received £5,000 and the opportunity to win the 2014 Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced in London on January 27, 2015.
Congratulations to the following Random House authors, who have been shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Richard Flanagan, author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North; Ali Smith, author of How to be Both (to be published in the U.S. on December 2nd); and Howard Jacobson, author of J. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 14th.
The University of Edinburgh has announced the winners of the 2014 James Tait Black Prizes. Please join us in congratulating Prof Dame Hermione Lee, who won the biography prize for Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, and Jim Crace, who won this year's fiction prize for his novel Harvest. Established in 1919, The James Tait Black Prizes are Britain's oldest literary awards.

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