Crime novelist Elmore Leonard will receive the 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. The National Book Foundation will honor Leonard, who has written more than 40 novels, dozens of short stories and film scripts, at the National Book Awards ceremony in November.
The National Book Foundation’s executive director Harold Augenbraum explained the choice in this statement: “For a half-century, Elmore Leonard has produced vibrant literary work with an inimitable writing style.”
Leonard expressed surprise at winning the honor in an interview with the Associated Press. He said, “I didn’t ever count on winning this kind of an award. I’ve won a lot of awards, but not like this one.”
Author Martin Amis present the award to Leonard at event which will take place in New York City on Wednesday November 14th. GalleyCat will be in the house to cover the ceremony. Last year, John Ashberry won the same award.
In related Leonard news, The Library of America said today that it will publish a three-volume edition of Leonard’s crime novels. The series is slated for release in Fall 2014.