Below are some of literature’s most prestigious annual awards, with a couple of titles noted and a link to see the complete list.
Two notable winners of the Booker Prize are Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie) which won in 1981 and was voted best winner to date in 1993, and The Testaments (Margaret Atwood), 2019 winner. Refer to the complete list of Booker Prizes and shortlists for additional winners and shortlists, including winners of the International Booker Prize.
Two winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature are Toni Morrison and Saul Bellow. (These are awarded to authors for their body of work, not to specific novels.)
The National Book Awards are not limited to fiction, nor to titles written for adults. It’s personally gratifying to note that one of our favorite titles, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet, was a 1984 winner. Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses won in 1992.
There are also two notable children’s literature prizes, both awarded by a division of the American Library Association; the Caldecott Medal for illustraton and the Newbery Medal for writing/overall quality. The 2020 Caldecott winner is Kadir Nelson, illustrator of The Undefeated. Watch author Kwame Alexander read the book below, and note the striking illustrations:
The 2020 Newbery winner is New Kid, a graphic novel written and illustrated by Jerry Craft. It’s also a story about the Black experience, from the perspective of a seventh grader.
New information about award-winning literature will show up on our blog page and, if applicable may also be updated on this page.