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National Book Awards: Sigrid Nunez wins fiction prize as Isabel Allende is honoured

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Chilean-born author receives lifetime achievement award at ceremony celebrating diversity, truth and literature as healing forces in a dark time

Sigrid Nunez has won the top prize at the prestigious National Book Awards in New York on Wednesday night, winning the fiction category for her seventh novel, The Friend, about a woman grieving the loss of her beloved literary mentor as she inherits his mourning dog: a 180-pound Great Dane.

Nunez beat Jamel Brinkley’s short story collection A Lucky Man; Florida by Lauren Groff; Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson; and The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.

Related: The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada review – an eco-terror mini epic

I refuse to live in fear – let alone to vote in fear. This is a dark time, my friends

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