Patti Smith wins National Book Award


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Iconic rocker Patti Smith has won the National Book Award for nonfiction for ‘Just Kids,’ her memoir of her close relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The win took many by surprise.

There was another surprise at the National Book Awards, held Wednesday night at Cirpriana Wall Street in New York City. Instead of being awarded to one of the big-name nominees (Peter Carey, Nicole Krauss), the fiction award went to Jaimy Gordon, whose book ‘Lords of Misrule’ was published by McPherson & Co., a small independent press.


Poetry winner Terrance Hayes, who has been the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, can add National Book Award to his list of literary achievements. His poetry collection is ‘Lighthead.’

The National Book Award for young people’s literature went to ‘Mockingbird’ by Kathryn Erskine.

See the complete list of 2010 National Book Award winners and finalists after the jump.

The complete National Book Award finalist list:

Fiction winner: Jaimy Gordon,’Lord of Misrule’Finalists: Peter Carey, ‘Parrot and Olivier in America’Nicole Krauss, ‘Great House’Lionel Shriver, ‘So Much for That’Karen Tei Yamashita, ‘I Hotel’ Nonfiction winner: Patti Smith, ‘Just Kids’Finalists: Barbara Demick, ‘Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea’ John W. Dower, ‘Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq’Justin Spring, ‘Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward’ Megan K. Stack, ‘Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War’ Poetry winner: Terrance Hayes, ‘Lighthead’Finalists: Kathleen Graber, ‘The Eternal City’ James Richardson, ‘By the Numbers’ C.D. Wright, ‘One With Others’Monica Youn, ‘Ignatz’ Young People’s Literature winner: Kathryn Erskine, ‘Mockingbird’Finalists: Paolo Bacigalupi, ‘Ship Breaker’ Laura McNeal, ‘Dark Water’Walter Dean Myers, ‘Lockdown’ Rita Williams-Garcia, ‘One Crazy Summer’

-- Carolyn Kellogg