National Book Foundation, National Book Awards to Honor Novelist E.L. Doctorow and Dr. Maya Angelou
New York, New York (September 5, 2013) - The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, will award its 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to E. L. Doctorow and bestow its 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American LiteraryCommunity to Dr. Maya Angelou at the 64th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at Cipriani, 55 Wall Street, in New York.
Doctorow will be honored in recognition of his outstanding achievements in fiction writing. For over five decades, Doctorow's work has been critically celebrated for its vivid depictions of nineteenth- and twentieth-century life, trenchant social criticism, and dazzling prose.
Angelou is a globally revered author and humanitarian. She is best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a groundbreaking autobiography that opened new literary avenues for the American memoir. Angelou's numerous writings explore subjects such as identity, rape, racism, literacy, the importance of family, and the quest for independence.
National Book Foundation Executive Director Harold Augenbraum said of the selections, "We are privileged this year to recognize two outstanding figures in the world of literature in honoring E.L. Doctorow and Dr. Maya Angelou. Doctorow is a master of historical fiction who has brought the events of the past to people all over the world in an extraordinary fashion. It is also a special opportunity to give tribute to a native New Yorker in his hometown." He added, "Dr. Angelou's body of work transcends the words on the page. She has been on the front lines of history and the fight for social justice and decade after decade remains a symbol of the redemptive power of literature in the contemporary world.
Doctorow is the 26th recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, which was created in 1988 to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement. Previous recipients include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, Elmore Leonard, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, and Tom Wolfe. This year's ceremony marks the ninth year that the Foundation has presented the Literarian Award, which was established in 2005 to recognize an individual whose work has enhanced the literary world during a lifetime of service. Previous recipients include Dave Eggers, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joan Ganz Cooney, Terry Gross, Mitchell Kaplan, Barney Rosset, and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.