Jesmyn Ward Wins 2011 National Book Award for Fiction for Salvage the Bones

Posted on November 17, 2011

The winners of the 2011 National Book Awards are:

Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury USA)

Nonfiction: Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (W. W. Norton & Company)

Poetry: Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split (TriQuarterly, an imprint of Northwestern University Press)

Young People's Literature: Thanhha Lai, Inside Out & Back Again (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

John Lithgow was the master of ceremonies for the ceremony last night. In his opening monologue he poked fun at actors, saying he was a just a speaker of other people's words. He joked that having him host the evening would open the door to hosting by Kim Kardashian and Charlie Sheen. He also made fun of celebrity children's books and the glut of celebrity memoirs (then plugged his own, requesting that he be stricken dead if he didn't write every word of "his first book for adults"). He did a great job.

Here is a short clip: