The 2018 National Book Award winners were announced on Wednesday night during its annual ceremony in New York City. Not only was it the first time since the Translated Literature category appeared on the roster since 1983, but the evening boasted group of fantastic winners. Among them was Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X), who shared some moving words during the evening.
“As the child of immigrants, as a black woman, as a Latina, as someone whose accented voice holds certain neighborhoods, whose body holds certain stories, I always feel like I have to prove that I am worthy enough and there will never be an award or accolade that will take that away,” Acevedo shared with the audience.
“But every single time I meet a reader who looks at me and says, ‘I have never seen my story until I read yours,’ I’m reminded of why this matters. And that’s not going to be an award and it’s not going to be an accolade. It’s going to be looking someone in the face and saying, ‘I see you,’ and in return being told that I am seen.”
See who else went home victorious below, then revisit the list of all the finalists.
Young People’s Literature
Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X
Yoko Tawada, The Emissary
Translated by Margaret Mitsutani
Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency
Coffee House Press
Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
Oxford University Press
Sigrid Nunez, The Friend
Revisit last year’s National Book Award winners here.