Book Tour is a Web feature and podcast. Each week, we present leading authors of fiction and nonfiction as they read from and discuss their work.
The annual National Book Awards offer great pleasures for those lucky enough to attend. One, of course, is the glittering awards ceremony. The other occurs the previous evening, when all the nominees take to an intimate stage to read selections from their works. Book Tour is pleased to once again provide audio from those readings by this year's winning authors.
As one of this country's preeminent literary prizes, a National Book Award more or less guarantees a bump in sales. Categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature, with a prize for each of $10,000.
This year's winners included two books set in Florida's past about exceedingly shady characters, a searching account of a fascinating American family and a collection of poems that represents the writer's journey into a master of the form.
The following readings of the National Book Award winners were recorded on Nov. 18, 2008, at The New School in New York City. All readings are by the authors. Thanks to books editor Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr for recording the sound.