The 2012 National Book Awards were held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on November 14, with prizes going to William Alexander for Goblin Secrets (Young People’s Literature), David Ferry for Bewilderment (Poetry), Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Nonfiction), and Louise Erdrich for The Round House (Fiction).
Erdrich, in accepting the Fiction award, gave a nod to Native Americans watching the livestream of the event and dedicated the win “in recognition of the grace and endurance of Native women.” Boo remembered journalist and NBA nominee Anthony Shadid, who died earlier this year. Ferry thanked his publisher, University of Chicago Press, accepting the Poetry award while holding back tears. And Alexander quoted Ursula K. Le Guin in his speech, saying that all fantasy writers must defer to her.
Arthur O. Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, was presented with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Elmore Leonard received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, recognizing his 60-year career.