The Washington Post

Three great moments from the National Book Critics Circle awards

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Americanah” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in New York on March 13, 2014. (Photo Madeline Charles)

The National Book Critics Circle has posted a video (below) of the awards ceremony Thursday night in New York. Among the highlights:

42:15 Frank Bidart’s acceptance speech for this year’s poetry prize for “Metaphysical Dog.” The celebrated poet joked that every time he’s nominated for an award but doesn’t win, he saves his remarks and adds a paragraph the next time. “So this has gotten very long.” Not really, but it’s very smart and very gracious.

19:00 Katherine Powers’s acceptance speech for the annual award for best book criticism by an NBCC member. The Boston-based writer gave a wonderfully clear, fair and efficient description of what a book review should do — and avoid.

1:06 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s sheer delight at winning the fiction prize for “Americanah.”

(Video credit Kevin Kino)


Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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Emily Yahr · March 14, 2014