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Portlander wins National Book Award!

Portland resident Phillip Hoose won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature last night, for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The book tells the story of Colvin, a near-forgotten civil-rights heroine; Colvin was in the audience with Hoose at the awards ceremony in NY, and was "shaken with emotion as she joined Hoose on the stage," according to an AP report.

From the NY Times article:

Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came with the presentation of the award for Young People’s Literature, which went to Phillip Hoose for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” a biography of Ms. Colvin, who as an African-American teenager in 1950s Montgomery, Ala., refused to give up her seat on a bus nine months before Rosa Parks took the same stand.

Mr. Hoose brought Ms. Colvin onto the stage to accept the award. 'My job was to pull someone who was about to disappear under history’s rug,' he said.

From that same article, this priceless description of Gore Vidal's acceptance of the award for the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters:

In wandering remarks, Mr. Vidal cited anecdotes about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. In his only comments about publishing, he puzzled the audience by noting, “Nowadays it seems the progress of literature is to first print the book and then pulp it,” adding: “It saves such a lot of time. It’s fun for everybody.”

Also, this picture:

 

(That's not Saruman, btw, that's the winner of the NBA for poetry, Keith Waldrop. Love him!)

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