Fellows receive National Book Award nods

Update: The 2014 National Book Award winners were Evan Osnos for Nonfiction, Phil Klay for Fiction, Louise Glück for Poetry, and Jacqueline Woodson for Young People’s Literature. Congratulations again to Drs. Demos and McLane! 

Two Woodrow Wilson Fellows are among this year’s finalists for the National Book Awards, with winners to be announced on November 19 at the National Book Foundation’s annual awards ceremony and dinner.

Maureen McLane MN ’89 is a shortlisted finalist for the award in poetry. The New York Times called her nominated collection, This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), “poems that keep you on your toes” with their “elegant unease.” In an interview with The National Book Foundation, Dr. McLane reflected “This Blue often registers an interface between living and thinking, or living-as-thinking, which for me is very close to an impulse toward poetry. Poems—writing or reading them—are modes of paying attention.”

John Demos WF ’50 also landed a spot on the longlist for nonfiction with his book The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House). The Yale historian frames questions of race in early-19th-century America with a look at a Connecticut school missionary school for young Asian and Native American men. A Kirkus review called the book “a slow-building saga that delivers a powerful final wallop.”

Dr. McLane, a professor of English at New York University, was named a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography for her experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism, My Poets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). Dr. Demos, the Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University, previously received the Francis Parkman Prize for The Unredeemed Captive (Alfred Knopf, 1994) and the Bancroft Prize for Entertaining Satan (Oxford University Press, 1982); each of these works also received a nomination for the National Book Award.


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