AALBC.com LogoCopyright © 1997-2017, All Rights Reserved — https://aalbc.com — troy@aalbc.com — Tel: 347-692-2522

Books Honored by the National Book Awards

National Book Award Medals

The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. Since 1996, independent panels of five writers have chosen the National Book Award winners in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

The first African-American writer to win a National Book Award was Ralph Ellison for Invisible Man.


Check Out AALBC.com’s Coverage of the National Book Awards:  20172016201520142013

4 Books Honored by the National Book Awards in 1983


Winner – First Novel

The Women of Brewster Place
by Gloria Naylor



Publication Date:
List Price: $16.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 192
ISBN13: 9780140066906
Imprint: Penguin Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Book Description: 
Once the home of poor Irish and Italian immigrants, Brewster Place, a rotting tenement on a dead-end street, now shelters black families. This novel portrays the courage, the fear, and the anguish of some of the women there who hold their families together, trying to make a home. Among them are: Mattie Michael, the matriarch who loses her son to prison; Etta Mae Johnson who tries to trade the ’high life’ for marriage with a local preacher; Kiswana Browne who leaves her middle-class family to organize a tenant’s union.




Winner – Fiction

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker



Publication Date:
List Price: $14.95 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 300
ISBN13: 9780156028356
Imprint: Mariner Books
Publisher: Mariner Books
Parent Company: Mariner Books

Read Our Review of The Color Purple

Book Description: 
  • Now a Broadway musical
  • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • Winner of the National Book Award

Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

“Intense emotional impact… Indelibly affecting… Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer.” — New York Times Book Review

“Places Walker in the company of Faulkner.” — The Nation

“Superb… A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“A novel of permanent importance.” — Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek




Winner – Children’s Books

Marked By Fire
by Joyce Carol Thomas



Publication Date:
List Price: $15.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 192
ISBN13: 9781423101437
Imprint: Hyperion Book CH
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

Book Description: 

Fire is Warm
Abyssinia Jackson grew up under a vast Oklahoma sky shaded with pecan trees and dotted by endless rows of cotton-pickers cotton. She had the gift of song, a storyteller’s talent, the love of her parents, and the affection and pride of her community.

Fire Can Burn
Then a tornado hits and drives Abby’s family apart. A deranged neighbor targets her for a campaign of vengeful terror. And a vicious physical assault all but breaks her will.

Marked by Fire
In a triumphant story of faith and fortitude, Abby emerges clearly as a young woman who faces pain and joy with the dignity of her heritage and the determination of spirit.

Joyce Carol Thomas’s beautifully written first novel, a 1983 National Book Award winner, remains as poignant and moving today as it was 25 years ago when it was first published.


Finalist – Children’s Books

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
by Virginia Hamilton



Publication Date:
List Price: $8.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 224
ISBN13: 9780380651931
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Book Description: 
Why had he come to her, with his dark secrets from a long-ago past? What was the purpose of their strange, haunting journeys back into her own childhood? Was it to help Dab, her retarded older brother, wracked with mysterious pain who sometimes took more care and love than Tree had to give? Was it for her mother, Vy, who loved them the best she knew how, but wasn’t home enough to ease the terrible longing?Whatever secrets his whispered message held, Tree knew she must follow. She must follow Brother Rush through the magic mirror, and find out the truth. About all of them.


Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st Century
25 African Male Writers You Should ReadAfrican Men: 25 You Must Read

AALBC.com Bestselling BooksAALBC.com Bestselling Books


Printed: November 20, 2017, 3:30 pm
☆ Mission
To Celebrate Black Culture Through Literature and Literary Nonfiction to Readers of all Backgrounds and Ages; and Advocate for Independent Media

☥ About Us
Started in 1997, AALBC.com (African American Literature Book Club) is the largest, most frequently visited web site of its kind. More
Customer Service
Advertising Rates
Advertiser Login
Contact Us – FAQ
Give Us Feedback
AALBC on Pinterest AALBC on Facebook AALBC on Twitter
AALBC RSS Feed AALBC on Youtube Email AALBC