Sunday, April 12, 2009

The National Book Award Winners

I read the National Book Award winners and finalists for fiction. I've read all the winners and about two-thirds of the finalists. It started about 10 years ago when a friend gave me The Shipping News as a Christmas gift. At first, I was content with merely reading the NBA winners. Over time, the pastime evolved into reading and owning first-edition copies of the books, some of which are rather expensive and/or difficult to locate. But "the hunt" is half the fun, and I far prefer going the used bookstore route than shopping online for those I need. With that, here's my list. I've read all of them, but I've highlighted in red those I don't have first editions for:

1950 -- The Man with the Golden Arm (Nelson Algren)
1951 -- The Collected Stories of William Faulkner (William Faulkner)
1952 -- From Here to Eternity (James Jones)
1953 -- Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
1954 -- The Adventures of Augie March (Saul Bellow)
1955 -- A Fable (William Faulkner)
1956 -- Ten North Frederick (John O'Hara)
1957 -- The Field of Vision (Wright Morris)
1958 -- The Wapshot Chronicle (John Cheever)
1959 -- The Magic Barrel (Bernard Malamud)
1960 -- Goodbye, Columbus (Philip Roth)
1961 -- The Waters of Kronos (Conrad Richter)
1962 -- The Moviegoer (Walker Percy)
1963 -- Morte d'Urban (J.F. Powers)
1964 -- The Centaur (John Updike)
1965 -- Herzog (Saul Bellow)
1966 -- The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (Katherine Anne Porter)
1967 -- The Fixer (Bernard Malamud)
1968 -- The Eighth Day (Thornton Wilder)
1969 -- Steps (Jerzy Kosinski)
1970 -- Them (Joyce Carol Oates)
1971 -- Mr. Sammler's Planet (Saul Bellow)
1972 -- The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor (Flannery O'Connor)
1973 -- Chimera (John Barth)
1974 -- Gravity's Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon) -- Sixth Printing
A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories (Isaac Bashevis Singer)

1975 -- Dog Soldiers (Robert Stone)
The Hair of Harold Roux (Thomas Williams)
1976 -- JR (William Gaddis)
1977 -- The Spectator Bird (Wallace Stegner)
1978 -- Blood Ties (Mary Settle)
1979 -- Going After Cacciato (Tim O'Brien)
1980 -- Sophie's Choice (William Styron)
1981 -- Plains Song (Wright Morris)
1982 -- Rabbit Is Rich (John Updike)

1983 -- The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
1984 -- Victory Over Japan, A Book of Stories (Ellen Gilchrist)
1985 -- White Noise (Don DeLillo)
1986 -- World's Fair (E.L. Doctorow)

1987 -- Paco's Story (Larry Heinemann)
1988 -- Paris Trout (Pete Dexter)
1989 -- Spartina (John Casey)
1990 -- Middle Passage (Charles Johnson)
1991 -- Mating (Norman Rush)
1992 -- All the Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy)
1993 -- The Shipping News (E. Annie Proulx)
1994 -- A Frolic of His Own (William Gaddis)
1995 -- Sabbath's Theatre (Philip Roth)
1996 -- Ship Fever and Other Stories (Andrea Barrett)
1997 -- Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier)
1998 -- Charming Billy (Alice McDermott)
1999 -- Waiting (Ha Jin)
2000 -- In America (Susan Sontag)
2001 -- The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)
2002 -- Three Junes (Julia Glass)
2003 -- The Great Fire (Shirley Hazzard)
2004 -- The News from Paraguay (Lily Tuck)
2005 -- Europe Central (William T. Vollmann)
2006 -- The Echo Maker (Richard Powers)
2007 -- Tree of Smoke (Denis Johnson)
2008 -- Shadow Country (Peter Matthiessen)


  1. Where do you keep the ones you have? Somewhere safe or on the shelves in your home where you can always reach them?

  2. I have them in plain ol' ordinary bookcases, Hula. Most of them aren't all that rare or valuable, at least to the point where I feel a need to put them under lock and key. Heck, if you can't look at 'em when you want, what's the fun in having them?

  3. I got hooked with The Shipping News too!

    I'll link your list to mine.

  4. Very cool, Rose, on The Shipping News connection. One of the better National Book Award winners, if you ask me.


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