At the Quills gala event in New York, Nora Roberts picked up the night’s biggest honor, the Book of the Year award, for her novel, Angels Fall. Roberts, who also won in the Romance category—the Book of the Year Award was selected by the reading public from among the night’s nominees and winners—capped off the event by saying that she was going to thank the appropriate people: Her fans. “Everyone seems to be thanking their husbands, wives and kids, but mine didn’t write this book,” she joked, before raising her Quill in honor of the readers who voted for her.
After faux TV news anchorman and current presidential nominee Stephen Colbert kicked off the night by mocking, tongue-in-cheek, the book prizes—chiding the National Book Awards for its “unoriginal” name, he likened the Quills to “the Latin Grammys of literary prizes”—a parade of authors and celebrities hit the stage of Jazz at Lincoln Center to dole out, and accept, awards.
Presenters including Brooke Shields, Tiki Barber, Mary Higgins Clark, Dan Rather, Joan Allen and Rocco DiSpirito gave statuettes to the 2007 Quills winners and special honorees David Halberstam and Robert Ludlum were also celebrated.
Halberstam was posthumously awarded this year’s Platinum Quill. Biography/Memoir Quill winner and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson, said every nonfiction writer aspires to do the kind of literary work that Halberstam perfected.
Robert Ludlum, pictured in a film reel, was celebrated for creating the Jason Bourne mystery series. Ludlum, who was one of the honorees of the Variety Blockbuster Book to Film—Universal Pictures was also given kudos for its work on the three recent films based on the series—spoke in the reel about the nature of writing. Ludlum, who never lived to see his character inhabited by Matt Damon on screen, said curiosity and an interest in the world drove him to write but, ultimately, he aimed to entertain. The author humbly noted that he liked to think of himself “as a storyteller,” a sentiment with which the evening’s winners would likely concur.