No praise here

John Sutherland may have a point about our attitude to American literary prizes (Books, 11 December), but one prize-winner has slipped through his fingers. E Doctorow's historical novel The March (greeted with generally positive reviews in this country) won the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction in February - a week before it was reviewed in the NS by Stephen Amidon. The March reminds us of the enduring hold that the civil war has on the American imagination.

Ralph Willett
Sherborne, Dorset

This article first appeared in the 18 December 2006 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas and New Year Special 2006