Anne Enright

Anne Enright

Robert K. Massie's splended biography of Catherine the Great and Irish writer Anne Enright's novel "The Forgotten Waltz" were honored this week by the American Library Association. The first annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The ALA also sponsors the annual Youth Media Awards, which includes the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

"Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman," by Massie, was also a 2011 Booklist editors' choice and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Our reviewer called the book both "vivd and sly." Read the review here.

Enright won the Booker Prize for an earlier book, "The Gathering." About "The Forgotten Waltz," our reviewer said it is subtle and suggestive. Read the review here.

Enright and Massie will each receive $5,000. The finalists -- Jame Gleick's "A History, a Theory, a Flood"; Manning Marable's "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention"; Russell Banks' "Lost Memory of Skin"; and Karen Russell's "Swamplandia!"--will each receive $1,500.

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