Adam Johnson.

Adam Johnson.

 

Adam Johnson's novel, "The Orphan Master's Son," won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2013. And now, two years later, he has won the National Book Award for Fiction with his collection of short stories, "Fortune Smiles." The six stories are dark but sometimes humorous and emphathetic, ranging from to Louisiana to Germany to North Korea.

Johnson's book, while critically acclaimed (the New York Times review said it should be savored "like very good and very bitter chocolate"), was arguably a surprise winner, with Lauren Groff's "Fates and Furies"  and Hanya Yanagihara's "A Little Life" the books that had all of the season's buzz.

This is the second year in a row that a collection of short stories has won the National Book Award. Last year, debut author Phil Klay won for "Redeployment."

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

The nonfiction winner was Ta-Nehisi Coates for  "Between the World and Me," a timely and powerful letter to his teenage son about the dangers and rage of being black in America.

The poetry award went to Robin Coste Lewis for her debut collection, "Voyage of the Sable Venus," and the award for young people's literature went to Neal Shusterman for "Challenger Deep," his book that was inspird by his own son's struggles with mental illness.

Winners of the National Book Award receive $10,000.

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