The Schmooze

National Book Awards Look to Past and Future

“Take the time to be brief.” That’s the advice Edith Pearlman, one of five finalists for the National Book Award in fiction, wants to give to young writers. Pearlman’s book, “Binocular Vision,” did not win, perhaps because a collection of short stories has not won since Andrea Barrett’s collection, “Ship Fever,” was victorious in 1996. This year, the award went to Jesmyn Ward for her novel “Salvage the Bones.”

Winners in other categories, announced November 16 at a ceremony for 700 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, included Harvard English professor Stephen Greenblatt in the non-fiction category for “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.” Greenblatt’s book opens with a discussion of his mother and how her worries about death kept her from enjoying life.

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National Book Awards Look to Past and Future

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