The National Book Foundation will commemorate the literary achievements of Joan Didion and Terry Gross at its November 14 awards ceremony in New York City. Didion will receive the 2007 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for her "outstanding achievements as a novelist and essayist." Didion won the National Book Award in 2005 for her last book, The Year of Magical Thinking. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham will present the medal at the 58th NBA ceremony and dinner. Writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz will host the event for the second consecutive year.
Also that evening, the National Book Foundation will award Terry Gross, host and executive producer of National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. The award recognizes the important contribution Gross has made to the world of books through her interviews with authors, including Didion. Ira Glass, host and producer of NPR’s "This American Life," will present the Award.
Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the Foundation, said, "These two women are icons in the literary world and their contributions are now legendary - Joan Didion as one of the keenest observers and finest prose stylists of our time and Terry Gross as one of the most intelligent voices on the airwaves and one of the few who devotes hundreds of hours a year to talking about books and literature."
Camille Paglia will announce the NBA finalists in Philadelphia at approximately 9:30 A.M. on October 10.