Louise Erdrich has won the National Book award with The Round House; a book that focuses on the underlying culture of racism and violence in reservations in North America, The New York Times reports.
Erdrich accepted the award in both Ojibwe and English, speaking of "the grace and endurance of native women", and quipped: "I find myself like Mitt Romney the other night, without a speech." She went on to describe The Round House, saying, "This is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations. Thank you for giving it a wider audience." She has beaten high-profile novels by Junot Diaz, Kevin Powers and Dave Eggers to win America's prestigious National Book award. "If this prize means anything," she said, "it is that small stories in so-called hidden places matter because they implicate and complicate what we consider to be the larger story, which is the story of people who do have political and economic powers."
Elsewhere at the literary awards, The National Book award for poetry went to David Ferry for Bewilderment, while William Alexander's Goblin Secrets took the young people's literature prize. The ceremony also saw Elmore Leonard presented with a medal for his distinguished contribution to American letters. "The only thing I've ever wanted to do with my life is have a good time writing stories," he said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "This award tells me I'm still at it."