National Book award wins for Louise Erdrich and Katherine Boo - and an honourary award for Elmore Leonard.
David Ferry's Bewilderment won for poetry while William Alexander's Goblin Secrets claimed the prize for children's literature. Each winner receives £6,300 and were chosen from a list of 1300 books on the original submission list in the 63rd annual National Book awards.
Honourary prizes were given to New York Times publisher and chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr and novelist Elmore Leonard.
Leonard, 87, was presented with his award in New York by Martin Amis and he joked that while Amis was the more critically acclaimed writer he himself “haver appeared as a category on ‘Jeopardy!’" Leonard added: "I am energised by this honour. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is tell stories, and this award tells me I am still good at it."