Choi and Krasznahorkai win at the National Book Awards

21 November 2019

We were thrilled to wake up this morning and discover that two of our books have won awards at the most prestigious literary prize ceremony in America, the National Book Awards.

national book awards

Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise, an electrifying novel telling of a #MeToo scandal at a drama school, has won the prize for fiction.

The judges said: ‘Trust Exercise by Susan Choi blends the intellectual rigor of post-modern technique with a story that is timely, mesmerizing, and, in the end, unsettling. The exploration of different character perspectives lays bare the myth-making of the self and the damage that storytelling can do to others. Choi’s virtuoso accomplishment on the sentence level is often extraordinary—and pivots in astonishing and non-traditional directions while conforming to traditional ideas of excellence.’

László Krasznahorkai’s Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, translated by Ottilie Mulzet, won the prize for translated literature. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming tells the story of a Prince Myshkin–like figure, Baron Béla Wenckheim, who returns at the end of his life to his provincial Hungarian hometown. 

The judges said: ‘At the end of his life, Baron Wenckheim returns to a small town in Hungary, in search of his lost love. From this, László Krasznahorkai forges a fictional universe populated with rogues and visionaries, at once epic and intimate, apocalyptic and deeply comic. Ottilie Mulzet’s remarkable translation captures the density of his extended sentences, their many twists and pivots, and the slow accumulation of their extraordinary intellectual and moral force. Singular and uncompromising, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is a masterpiece by one of the great writers of our time.’

Find out more at the National Book Awards website.