National Book Awards to honor Don DeLillo for lifetime achievement

Because of its popularity on college syllabi, most people know Don DeLillo from his book "White Noise." But reading his other novels -- "Libra," "Ratner's Star," "Great Jones Street," "The Names," "Falling Man," "Americana" and of course "Underworld" -- prove DeLillo's astonishing breadth and depth. 

DeLillo will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Award ceremony in November, it was announced Wednesday. The presenting organization, the National Book Foundation, will present DeLillo with its 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

“Don DeLillo is unquestionably one of the greatest novelists of his generation,” Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, said in a statement. “He has had an enormous influence on the two generations of writers that followed, and his work will continue to resonate for generations to come.”

Prior recipients of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, which was first awarded in 1988, include E.L. Doctorow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joan Didion, Elmore Leonard, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Philip Roth and Toni Morrison.

DeLillo will attend the award ceremony, which will be part of the National Book Foundation's Nov. 18 gala. He'll presented with his award by novelist Jennifer Egan.

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