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John Updike and Five Others Receive National Book Awards

Mar. 10, 1964 - Six authors — John Updike (pictured), Aileen Ward, Christopher Tunnard, Boris Pushkarev, William H. McNeill, and John Crowe Ransom — received National Book Awards today for the most distinguished books written by American citizens and published in the United States in 1963.

At a ceremony in the New York Hilton Hotel attended by more than 1,000 authors, critics, librarians, and people of the book industry, the winners each received a check of $1,000. The prizes were donated by the American Book Publishers Council, the American Booksellers Association, and the Book Manufacturers Institute.

Mr. Updike won the fiction award for “The Centaur,” published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. The fiction judges — John Cheever, Robie Macauley, and Philip Rahv — made this citation: “In ‘The Centaur,’ John Updike gives a courageous and brilliant account of a conflict in gifts between an inarticulate American father and his highly articulate son. He readily takes on the risk of flamboyance in pursuing an acuteness of feeling and introduces a cast of gods and goddesses into rural Pennsylvania.”

Mr. Updike, 31 years old, a contributor to The New Yorker and a former staff member of the magazine, has written five books in the last four years.


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