From an LC Announcement:
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has announced that Don DeLillo, author of such critically acclaimed novels as “Underworld,” “Mao II” and the National Book Award-winning “White Noise,” will receive the first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival, Sept. 21-22.
This inaugural award was inspired by a prior award the Library made for lifetime achievement in the writing of fiction – presented to Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk in 2008. DeLillo follows in the path of four subsequent winners of the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for fiction in connection with the Library’s National Book Festival: John Grisham (2009), Isabel Allende (2010), Toni Morrison (2011) and Philip Roth (2012).
“Like Dostoyevsky, Don DeLillo probes deeply into the sociopolitical and moral life of his country,” said Billington. “Over a long and important career, he has inspired his readers with the diversity of his themes and the virtuosity of his prose.”
The annual Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction is meant to honor an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but for its originality of thought and imagination. The award seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that—throughout long, consistently accomplished careers—have told us something about the American experience.
A distinguished panel made its recommendation of Don DeLillo to Billington. Winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker prizes, as well as prominent literary critics, were part of the panel.