Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah,” a novel about race and identity by the acclaimed Nigerian author, has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction.
Adichie, whose other works include “Half of a Yellow Sun,” was chosen over “The Goldfinch” author Donna Tartt and three other finalists.
Sheri Fink’s book on Hurricane Katrina, “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death In a Storm-Ravaged Hospital,” won for nonfiction. The biography winner was Leo Damrosch’s “Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World” and Amy Wilentz’s “Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti” received the autobiography prize.
Other winners at Thursday’s ceremony in Manhattan included Frank Bidart’s “Metaphysical Dog” for poetry and Franco Moretti’s “Distant Reading” for criticism, with books by Jonathan Franzen and Janet Malcolm among the other nominees.
The critics circle presented its inaugural award for a debut book of any genre, the John Leonard Prize, to Anthony Marra for his novel “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.” John Leonard, who died in 2008, was a longtime reviewer, avid supporter of new writers and a founder of the critics circle.
Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, an influential Chicano author, teacher and translator, received a lifetime achievement prize. Katherine A. Powers, whose criticism has appeared in the Washington Post among other publications, was given an honorary award for “excellence in reviewing.”
The NBCC was established in 1974 and has around 600 members.
Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech
President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O'hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.
Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.
Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President's every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire's Jussie Smollett--local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.
Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd's applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue--knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.
In his signature style of class, poise and honor--he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America's democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law--Marian Shields Robinson.
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”</span></p>
<p class="p1">After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.</p>
<p class="p1"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/globalmixx">Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter</a></p>
<p class="p2"><span class="s1"> </span></p>