Ling Ma, Beverly Gage among authors honored by book critics

Mar 23, 2023, 5:30 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Ling Ma’s sharp and surreal “Bliss Montage” and Beverly Gage’s sweeping biography of the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, “G-Man,” were among the winners Thursday night of the National Book Critics Circle awards.

Ma’s story collection won the prize for fiction, with the judges praising her “sometimes startling” portraits of racism and xenophobia, and her gift for pulling readers “into a world where everything has been called into question.” Last week, “Bliss Montage” received the Story Prize for outstanding short fiction.

Gage, whose book earlier in the day was honored by the New-York Historical Society, won Thursday night for best biography. “G-Man” has been widely praised as a thorough and nuanced take on one of the country’s most polarizing figures, and was cited by the critics circle for weaving together Hoover’s life and the “paradoxical national story involving American anxieties over security, masculinity, and race.”

Other works awarded by the NBCC included Isaac Butler’s “The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act” for nonfiction, Hua Hsu’s “Stay True” for memoir, Cynthia Cruz’s “Hotel Oblivion” for poetry and Timothy Bewes’ “Free Indirect” for criticism. Ukranian author Andrey Kurkov’s “Grey Bees,” translated by Boris Dralyuk, won for best translated book, and Morgan Talty’s “Night of the Living Rez” was named best debut work.

Honorary awards were presented to former U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo for lifetime achievement, and Jennifer Wilson for excellence in reviewing. The Toni Morrison Achievement Award, for “institutions that have made lasting and meaningful contributions to book culture,” was given to San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore. Barbara Hoffert, an editor at Library Journal and former NBCC president and board member, received the critics circle’s Service Award.

The NBCC was founded in 1974 and has hundreds of members around the country. Winners of book critic prizes have included Alice Munro, Robert A. Caro, Isabel Wilkerson and the current U.S. poet laureate, Ada Limón.

National News

Associated Press

Lawsuit seeking new congressional lines for NY could have national political implications

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawyers seeking redrawn congressional lines in New York argued before a state appeals court Thursday in a Democrat-backed lawsuit that could have implications in the 2024 fight for control of the House. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 10 New York voters who want a state redistricting commission to submit […]

14 hours ago

Casey White arrives at the Lauderdale County Courthouse for a sentence hearing in Florence, Ala., T...

Associated Press

Inmate sentenced to life following escape with help by Alabama jailer

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate who escaped with help from a jail official who ultimately ended up taking her own life as police closed in was sentenced Thursday to life in prison. Casey White, 39, told those gathered in the Lauderdale County courtroom that he felt like the most hated man in the […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers vote on bill that considers reparations for slavery

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York would create a commission to consider reparations to address the lingering, negative effects of slavery under a bill being voted on by the state Legislature on Thursday. “We want to make sure we are looking at slavery and its legacies,” said state Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages before the floor debate. […]

14 hours ago

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, a candidate for the Democratic nomin...

Associated Press

Presley gets Mississippi Democratic nod for governor without party primary, after court ruling

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Utility regulator Brandon Presley is now uncontested for the Democratic nomination for Mississippi governor this year after the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that another Democratic candidate waited too long to challenge being kept off the ballot. Presley is trying to block Republican Gov. Tate Reeves from winning a second term […]

14 hours ago

FILE - A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 2022. The Los Angeles D...

Associated Press

Los Angeles district attorney’s office quits Twitter due to barrage of ‘vicious’ homophobic attacks

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said Thursday it has left Twitter due to barrage of “vicious” homophobic attacks that were not removed by the social media platform even after they were reported. The account, which went by the handle @LADAOffice, no longer exists on Twitter. “Our decision to archive our Twitter account was not […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

DeSantis recruiters eyed Catholic church for migrant flights that bishop calls ‘reprehensible’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recruiters set their sights on Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Texas border city of El Paso in search of asylum-seekers they could take from its bustling migrant shelter to California’s capital on taxpayer-funded private jets. Intentionally or not, envoys for Florida’s Catholic governor and Republican presidential […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Ling Ma, Beverly Gage among authors honored by book critics