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Novelist Annie Proulx won the lifetime-achievement prize at this year’s National Book Award ceremony. During her speech, the 82-year-old listed the many reasons why we live in a Kafkaesque time, one being how television “sparkles with images of despicable political louts and sexual harassment reports.”

Fortunately for the audience, and anyone listening to her speech, Proulx ended on a hopeful note by reading from Wisława Szymborska’s poem Consolation. 

Watch our video to hear parts of Proulx’s speech.