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Book critics give fiction prize to Edwidge Danticat

NEW YORK — Edwidge Danticat's story collection “Everything Inside” has won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction. Chanel Miller was awarded in autobiography for “Know My Name,” her book about being sexually assaulted by Stanford University student Brock Turner.

The critics circle usually announces its awards during a Manhattan ceremony, but called off the gathering over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. This year's honours were announced Thursday through a press release.

Danticat's stories — tales of love, family and mortality set partly in her native Haiti — previously won the Story prize for best short fiction. The critics circle praised “Everything Inside" for narratives that have “no forced happy endings, no unearned deliverances.”

For biography, the critics chose Patrick Radden Keefe's “Say Nothing: The True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. Josh Levin's “The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth” won in biography and Morgan Parker's “Magical Negro” received the poetry award. Saidiya Hartman ”Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Stories of Social Upheaval" was the winner in the criticism category.

Among the finalists for autobiography was Ronan Farrow's “Catch and Kill,” based on his Pulitzer Prize winning reporting about Harvey Weinstein. The Hollywood producer was sentenced this week to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Sarah M. Broom's memoir “The Yellow House” received the John Leonard Award for best first book. An honorary award for criticism was given to The New Yorker's Katy Waldman and the poet and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye received a lifetime achievement prize.

Hillel Italie, The Associated Press

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