March 9-16, 2006

March 9, 2006
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E.L. Doctorow’s

The March Wins

Book Critics Award

NEW YORK, NY/3/3/06— The March, E.L. Doctorow’s acclaimed tale of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s ruthless Civil War battles, won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction March 3 at an awards banquet. The novel has already been awarded the PEN/Faulkner prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The 75-year-old author’s works also include Ragtime, Loon Lake, and World’s Fair. There are no cash awards given for the Critics Award, though substantial boosts in book sales usually follow.

In accepting the award, Doctorow said the independent witness of book writers provides “the deepest and profoundest … form of communication in our society.” He added that books provide a unique “soul to soul” bond between the writer and reader in the modern world, because they are both written and read in silence.

Other award winners included Svetlana Alexievich, who won the general nonfiction award for Voices from Chernobyl, an oral history of the 1986 nuclear disaster, and Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, who won the biography award for American Prometheus, about atomic pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer. Francine du Plessix Gray’s memoir, Them, won the autobiography category. It is the story of the author’s glamorous, but troubled mother and stepfather. Her mother was Russian designer Titiana Yakovleva du Plessix Liberman, and her step-father was Alexander Liberman, edotiral directory of Conde Nast.

Jack Gilbert won the poetry award for Refusing Heaven, and William Logan was honored in the criticism category for The Undiscovered Country.

The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, has about 500 members.

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