Don DeLillo Awarded First Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction
Posted on April 25, 2013Author Don DeLillo has been named the winner of the first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. He will receive the prize during the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which is held on Sept. 21-22. The announcement was made by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.
Billington said in a statement, "Like Dostoyevsky, Don DeLillo probes deeply into the sociopolitical and moral life of his country. Over a long and mportant career, he has inspired his readers with the diversity of his themes and the virtuosity of his prose."
The inaugural award was inspired by a prior award the Library of Congress made for lifetime achievement in the writing of fiction - presented to Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk in 2008. DeLillo follows in the path of four subsequent winners of the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for fiction: John Grisham (2009), Isabel Allende (2010), Toni Morrison (2011) and Philip Roth (2012).
DeLillo received the National Book Award for White Noise in 1985 and a PEN/Faulkner Award for Mao II in 1992. He has been a been a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist twice in his career. He also received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction and many other accolades. DeLillo's 1997 novel, Underworld, was No. 2 on a list of best America fiction compiled by The New York Times in 2006.
DeLillo said in a statement, "When I received news of this award, my first thoughts were of my mother and father, who came to this country the hard way, as young people confronting a new language and culture. In a significant sense, the Library of Congress prize is the culmination of their efforts and a tribute to their memory."