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Lit bits

  • FILE- In this April. 27, 2013 file photo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks to Associated Press during an interview in Lagos, Nigeria. The latest novel by the acclaimed Nigerian author Adichie, “Americanah,” has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction announced on Thursday, March 13, 2014. The NBCC was established in 1974 and has around 600 members. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, file)

    FILE- In this April. 27, 2013 file photo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks to Associated Press during an interview in Lagos, Nigeria. The latest novel by the acclaimed Nigerian author Adichie, “Americanah,” has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction announced on Thursday, March 13, 2014. The NBCC was established in 1974 and has around 600 members. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, file)

  • FILE- In this April. 27, 2013 file photo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks to Associated Press during an interview in Lagos, Nigeria. The latest novel by the acclaimed Nigerian author Adichie, “Americanah,” has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction announced on Thursday, March 13, 2014. The NBCC was established in 1974 and has around 600 members. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, file)

Nigerian author wins fiction prize for ‘Americanah’

NEW YORK — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah,” a novel about race and identity by the acclaimed Nigerian author, has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction.

Adichie, whose other works include “Half of a Yellow Sun,” was chosen over “The Goldfinch” author Donna Tartt and three other finalists.

Sheri Fink’s book on Hurricane Katrina, “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death In a Storm-Ravaged Hospital,” won for nonfiction. The biography winner was Leo Damrosch’s “Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World” and Amy Wilentz’s “Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti” received the autobiography prize.

Other winners at Thursday’s ceremony in Manhattan included Frank Bidart’s “Metaphysical Dog” for poetry and Franco Moretti’s “Distant Reading” for criticism, with books by Jonathan Franzen and Janet Malcolm among the other nominees.

The critics circle presented its inaugural award for a debut book of any genre, the John Leonard Prize, to Anthony Marra for his novel “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.” John Leonard, who died in 2008, was a longtime reviewer, avid supporter of new writers and a founder of the critics circle.

Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, an influential Chicano author, teacher and translator, received a lifetime achievement prize. Katherine A. Powers, whose criticism has appeared in the Washington Post among other publications, was given an honorary award for “excellence in reviewing.”

The NBCC was established in 1974 and has around 600 members.

‘How to Poo on a Date’ wins odd book-title prize

LONDON — A guide to coping with an awkward romantic moment has been awarded a prize for the year’s oddest book title.

Humorous self-help book “How to Poo on a Date: The Lovers’ Guide to Toilet Etiquette” triumphed Friday in the quirky Diagram Prize.

Organizers said the book, published by Prion Press, received 30 percent of votes in an online ballot. It beat other finalists including “Are Trout South African” and “Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City.”

Prize director Horace Bent said voters had chosen “a manual that can help one through life’s more challenging and delicate moments.”

The prize, founded in 1978, is run by the British trade magazine The Bookseller.

Previous winners include “Bombproof Your Horse,” “Living With Crazy Buttocks” and “Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.”

No new Bob Woodward book coming this fall

NEW YORK — Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Julia Prosser said recently that no new Bob Woodward book is expected this year. Woodward’s best-selling, insider White House accounts had appeared regularly for more than a decade in the fall of even-numbered years — major election years — and often made campaign news. Prosser said Woodward is writing a new book but declined to offer details.

Woodward’s previous books include four on George W. Bush’s administration, “Bush at War,” “Plan of Attack,” “State of Denial” and “The War Within,” and two on Barack Obama’s administration.

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