As we approach the Sixtieth Handing Out of the National Book Awards, here’s a list of all the winners. The Big Names are predictable: Updike, Styron, Bellow, Cheever, Roth, Powers. But I never knew, or had forgotten, that William F. Buckley won for one of his Blackford Oakes spy novels ( Stained Glass, 1980 ), and John D. McDonald took the 1981 prize for The Green Ripper , one of several Travis McGee novels that blur the lines between detective genre fiction, sharp social criticism and rewarding literature.
How many have you read? Check them all out here; each winner is accompanied by a thoughtful essay evaluating the book.