The estimable Ruth Franklin, whose work appears most frequently in The New Republic, just won the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. This was taken note of at the famed litblog The Literary Saloon, which offers up this choice quote from Franklin's acceptance speech:

It's the task of the critic to champion books that deserve to be championed, and to take a stand against those that have the power to harm. And anyone who doesn't believe that books have the power to harm is not taking them seriously enough.