James McGrath Wins the National Book Award for Fiction

Posted on November 26, 2013

Charles McGrath, the former editor of The New York Times Book Review, presented the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction to James McBride for his novel, The Good Lord Bird. McBride said he was surprised by the win and that he didn't prepare a speech. In fact, he was still clutching his cloth napkin as he made his way to the stage. McGrath said he would not have been upset if the nominees had won as they are all fine writers, but he admitted that "it sure is nice to get it [the award]." He said for the first fifteen years as a writer he didn't make a dime and he thanked his agent for sticking with him. He also thanked his family. He said when he wrote the book his grandmother and niece died within weeks of each other and his marriage ended. Writing the book was a way to escape from that for a time. Take a look:

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