The March wins National Book Critics Circle prize | india | Hindustan Times
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The March wins National Book Critics Circle prize

Author EL Doctorow's book on Gen William Tecumseh Sherman's ruthless Civil War campaign, has also won the PEN/Faulkner prize.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 14:42 IST

EL Doctorow's

The March

, his acclaimed story of General William Tecumseh Sherman's ruthless Civil War campaign, received yet another literary honour last night, winning the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction.

"I've wondered for many years if awards are good for literature," said Doctorow, who also won the critics' prize for his 1989 novel, Billy Bathgate. "But I find when I'm offered an award I tend to accept it."

Doctorow's novel, the rare work of American fiction last year to attract both strong sales and widespread praise, has already won the PEN/Faulkner prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It stands a strong chance of bringing the author his first Pulitzer Prize in a 45-year career that includes Ragtime, World's Fair and LoonLake.

"The independent witness of book writers I think provides the deepest and profoundest form of communication in our society," said Doctorow, 75, who observed that books are written in silence and read in silence, a "soul to soul" bond unique in the modern world.

Also yesterday, Svetlana Alexievich won the general nonfiction award for Voices from Chernobyl, an oral history of the 1986 nuclear disaster. Kai Bird's and Martin J Sherwin's American Prometheus, a work on atomic pioneer J Robert Oppenheimer that took so long to write the book's first two editors retired, was the biography winner. Francine du Plessix Gray's Them, a memoir about her glamorous, but troubled mother and stepfather, won for autobiography.