MFA Creative Writing faculty member Sigrid Nunez has won the 2018 National Book Award for her novel The Friend. Announced last night at the National Book Award Ceremony in lower Manhattan, the prize jury called the novel an "exquisitely written and deeply humane exploration of grief, literature and memory."
In her acceptance speech, Sigrid thanked her agent, publisher, and the staff at Riverhead Books, and said, “I became a writer not because I was seeking community, but rather because I thought it was something I could do alone, and hidden, in the privacy of my own room." She continued, "How lucky to have discovered that writing books made the miraculous possible: to be removed from the world and to be a part of the world at the same time.”
The novel was chosen for the award from a pool of 368 fiction books submitted for consideration. The National Book Awards are judged by a distinguished panel of writers, translators, critics, librarians, and booksellers.
Sigrid has been on The New School's faculty for 13 years, teaching in both the MFA Creative Writing Program and the undergraduate Riggio Honors Program: Writing & Democracy.
Each year, the MFA in Creative Writing Program partners with the National Book Foundation, presenters of the National Book Award, to host the annual National Book Award Finalists Medal Ceremony and Reading.
You can stream the 2018 National Book Awards Ceremony below, or view the Finalists Reading and Award Ceremony on the National Book Foundation's website.