Congratulations to Stephen Greenblatt, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

This week, the National Book Awards bestowed the 2011 prize for nonfiction to Stephen Greenblatt for his masterful work, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Greenblatt is a distinguished scholar who has previously published many outstanding works on English literature, including the bestselling Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.

In May 2012, NYRB Classics will publish Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici and Urne-Burial, edited and introduced by Stephen Greenblatt and Ramie Targoff.

Happy Birthday to Daniel Pinkwater!

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of the incomparable writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater, author of about one hundred books as unique and funny as he is, by calling attention to his personal favorite book, Lizard Music, the story of Victor, a boy who, in exploring the nearby city of Hogboro while his parents are away, meets the Chicken Man, who is keen on the lizard (yes, lizard) musicians who appear on Victor’s television after the broadcast of the late-late movie. Victor and the Chicken Man travel to the lizards’ floating island, where the strange is fantastic and inspired—all adjectives that could be used to describe Pinkwater himself.

Veterans’ Day

Published in 1947, The Gallery was one of the earliest works of post WWII fiction. It was a critically-acclaimed bestseller and was a trailblazer for books like Catch-22 to follow. Set in occupied Naples in 1944—where author John Horne Burns had been commissioned as an army intelligence officer to investigate crimes committed by U.S. troops—the book captures the shock the war dealt to the preconceptions and ideals of the victorious Americans. It also provides one of the first unblinking looks at gay life in the military.

November Events for Songs of Kabir

Poet, editor, and University of Allahabad professor Arvind Krishna Mehrotra will be reading from his dazzling new translation of Kabir’s poetry at two events in New York City on November 2nd & 3rd. Following the attempts of Ezra Pound and Robert Bly, he has revitalized the work of this legendary North Indian bhakti poet, which explodes with passion, satire, metaphysical ideas, and upside-down language.