Don DeLillo to Receive National Book Award for Contribution to American Letters


Don DeLillo, author of more than fifteen novels, including White Noise, Mao II, and Underworld, will receive the 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 66th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner. The ceremony will be held on November 8 in New York City.

The National Book Foundation will award DeLillo on the basis of a “diverse body of work that examines the mores of contemporary modern American culture and brilliantly embeds the rhythms of everyday speech within a beautifully composed, contoured narrative.”

“Don DeLillo is unquestionably one of the greatest novelists of his generation,” said Harold Augenbraum, the Foundation’s Executive Director, in a press release. “He has had an enormous influence on the two generations of writers that followed, and his work will continue to resonate for generations to come.”

The award will be presented by Jennifer Egan, author of The Invisible Circus, Emerald City, Other Stories, Look at Me, and A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award.

The event is also notable because DeLillo, like some of his generational peers, is known to limit his public appearances. Nonetheless, he can be seen here discussing white limousines in Manhattan alongside David Cronenberg, who adapted DeLillo’s Cosmopolis for the screen.