Jaimy Gordon has won the fiction prize in the US National Book Awards 2010 for her fourth novel Lord of Misrule.
The author saw off competition from Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey, Nicole Krauss' Great House, So Much for That by Lionel Shriver and Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel.
Commenting on the personal meaning of the prize to her, Gordon said: 'Looking back at the historical list of National Book Award winners, I'm amazed to see how many books of importance to me at various times in my life are on that list.'
She cited Saul Bellow's Herzog, The Centaur by John Updike and Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers as past winning titles that have influenced her own writing.
The National Book Awards was founded in 1950 to recognise the best works of the year from the American literary community and gave a total of 28 prizes a year by 1980. It now awards just four.
This year also saw Patti Smith win the non-fiction honour for Just Kids, Kathleen Graber take home the poetry prize with The Eternal City and Kathryn Erskine scoop the young people's literature accolade for Mockingbird.
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