The National Book Foundation (NBF) announced that Gore Vidal will receive the 2009 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and Dave Eggers will receive the 2009 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
Both awards will be given out at the 60th National Book Awards Ceremony in New York City on November 18, an evening hosted by writer and actor Andy Borowitz. Vidal will be the twentieth author to receive his prestigious award, which was shared by writers like Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, and Toni Morrison.
National Book Foundation executive director Harold Augenbraum had this statement: “â€œVidal and Eggers have made a significant impact on the literary culture of the United States, in two very distinct eras. Although one could call both ‘men of letters,’ their approaches to their craft and to their writing and public lives can be described as very distinctive models of the American artiste engagé.” (Editor’s note: The headline of this post has changed.)