National Book Award Winners Announced
Posted on November 18, 1999The winners of the 50th Annual National Book Awards were presented on Wednesday at a dinner in Manhattan. Comedian Steve Martin was master of ceremonies. This year's award ceremony included a special 50th anniversary award which was awarded to television personality and producer, Oprah Winfrey.
The fiction prize went to Ha Jin, a former Chinese soldier who is now a professor at Emory University. His winning novel, Waiting, is set in China. In nonfiction the prize went to Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower. For poetry it was Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai and for young people's literature the prize went to When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Ho. In addition to the literature awards, Oprah Winfrey was honored with the special 50th Anniversary Gold Medal for her huge contribution to literature from her televised reading group, Oprah's Book Club.
The National Book Foundation was created to raise the cultural appreciation of great writing in America. Through The National Book Awards the Foundation recognizes books of exceptional merit written by Americans.