Monday , October 26 2020

National Book Awards Nominees

The National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the National Book Awards today:

    THE 2002 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS FINALISTS
    YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE

    M.T. Anderson, Feed (Candlewick Press)
    Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion (A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
    Naomi Shihab Nye, 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers)
    Elizabeth Partridge, This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life & Songs of Woody Guthrie (Viking/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers)
    Jacqueline Woodson, Hush (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers)

    FICTION

    Mark Costello, Big If (W.W. Norton & Company)
    Julia Glass, Three Junes (Pantheon Books)
    Adam Haslett, You Are Not a Stranger Here (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
    Martha McPhee, Gorgeous Lies (Harcourt, Inc.)
    Brad Watson, The Heaven of Mercury (W.W. Norton & Company)

    POETRY

    Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press)
    Sharon Olds, The Unswept Room (Alfred A. Knopf)
    Alberto Ríos, The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press)
    Ruth Stone, In the Next Galaxy (Copper Canyon Press)
    Ellen Bryant Voigt, Shadow of Heaven (W.W. Norton & Company)

    NONFICTION

    Robert A. Caro, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf)
    Devra Davis, When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution (Basic Books/Perseus Books Group)
    Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (Metropolitan Books/
    Henry Holt & Co.)
    Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man (Viking Penguin)
    Steve Olson, Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes (Houghton Mifflin Company)
    Page 4
    2002 National Book Awards/October 16, 2002

    At the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, November 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, these authors will be honored and judges will announce the Winners in each of the four categories. The evening will benefit the Awards’ institutional sponsor, the National Book Foundation, which runs dozens of educational outreach programs throughout the year for readers and writers across the country.

    Also that evening, the Board of Directors of the Foundation will confer its 2002 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters upon Philip Roth, who will deliver an address to an audience of 1,000 authors, editors, publishers, friends, and supporters of books and book publishing.

    Actor and author Steve Martin will, for the fourth consecutive year, serve as Master of Ceremonies.

    In making the Finalists announcement, Foundation Executive Director Neil Baldwin commented: “Each of these authors has created a work of exceptional merit that resonated in a distinctive way with the judging panels surveying the ever-changing and vast terrain of the American literary landscape.” Baldwin also noted the strong number of entries submitted this year: 993 titles from 183 publishers and imprints.

In addition, there wil be various related events in NYC the week of the awards:

    Monday, November 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Young People’s Literature Finalists will participate in a “Meet the Author” panel discussion and question-and-answer session with local middle and high school students at the Donnell Library, part of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Student journalists will also participate in a press conference with the authors.
    Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Upper West Side. Contributors to The Book That Changed My Life: Interviews with National Book Award Winners and Finalists (Random House/Modern Library, September 2001) David Levering Lewis, Philip Levine, Cynthia Ozick, and Robert Stone will speak about their literary influences. Moderated by Diane Osen. Free and open to the public.

    Tuesday, November 19, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the 20 Finalists in Young People’s Literature, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry will participate in a “Meet the Author” book signing at the Barnes & Noble store in Union Square. Free and open to the public.

    Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m., all 20 Finalists will read selections from their work at the highly anticipated “Finalists Reading,” co-sponsored by the National Book Foundation and The New School Writing Program. The reading will take place at New School Tischman Auditorium. Admission is $5, purchased in advance through The New School box office (212) 229-5488.

Here are bios for the Young People’s Literature and Nonfiction nominees:

    FINALISTS FOR THE 2002 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR
    YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE

    M.T. Anderson, Feed (Candlewick Press)
    Set in an unspecified time in the future – when it’s as easy to go to the moon as to the mall – this satire explores the nature of consumerism and what it means to be a teenager in America. Feed tells the story of Titus – whose ability to read, write and think for himself has been nearly obliterated by the advertising-laden Internet “feed” implanted in his brain – and of his relationship with Violet, who challenges him to care about what’s really going on in the world.

    M.T. Anderson studied English literature at Harvard and Cambridge universities, and is currently on the faculty at Vermont College’s MFA Program in Writing for Children. His previous young adult novels are Thirsty (1998) and Burger Wuss (1999). He has a strong interest in classical music, having published many classical music reviews and articles, as well as a biography titled Handel Who Knew What He Liked (2001). He lives in Boston.

    Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion (A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
    A futuristic adventure story about young Matteo Alacrán and his struggle to understand his own existence. Matteo is a clone, sharing identical DNA with the maniacal El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium. Terror and danger are constant companions where they live – a strip of poppy fields between the United States and what was once called Mexico.

    Born in 1941, Nancy Farmer grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border. She attended Reed College and was in the Peace Corps in Africa from 1963 to 1965. Her previous books include A Girl Named Disaster (a National Book Award Finalist in 1996), The Warm Place (1995), The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (1994), Do You Know Me (1993), and three picture books for young children. She lives with her husband in Menlo Park, California.

    Naomi Shihab Nye, 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers)
    Sixty new and collected poems for young people celebrating friends, family, and neighbors, and offering a glimpse of both the ordinary domestic life of people in the Middle East, as well as lives lived within the confines of a refugee camp, or in a bombed-out home, or with haunting memories of lost relatives.

    Naomi Shihab Nye – the daughter of a Palestinian father and a German-American mother – grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. She has devoted much of her work as a poet and anthologist to finding bridges between the work of writers and artists of the Middle East and North American readers. Her anthology, Flags of Childhood, brought together poets from all over the Middle East – Arab and Israeli. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and many awards for her books for younger readers, and has published four collections of poetry for adults. She lives in San Antonio.

    Elizabeth Partridge, This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life & Songs of Woody Guthrie (Viking/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers)
    Illustrated with period photographs, letters, drawings, and other archival material, this biography of America’s troubadour focuses on how his difficult childhood in Oklahoma and Texas, his travels during the Depression, and his friendships with union organizers and Dust Bowl migrant workers shaped and informed the more than 3,000 songs he wrote.

    Growing up in Berkeley, California, in a large extended family, Elizabeth Partridge’s childhood was filled with interaction with writers, painters, musicians, and photographers (including Dorothea Lange – a close friend of her father’s). She studied Chinese medicine in England in the 1970s and began writing children’s books in the 1990s. Her other books for young people include Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange (1998) and Oranges on Golden Mountain (2001). She and her husband live in Berkeley and are parents of two college-age sons. www.elizabethpartridge.com

    Jacqueline Woodson, Hush (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers) Evie (once named Toswiah) is this novel’s narrator, telling her story in flashbacks as she struggles to reinvent herself and re-imagine her future. After her father testified against two fellow police officers in a murder case, she and her family enter a witness protection program, move to a strange new city, leave their “old” lives behind, and try to come to terms with their new identities.

    Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn. A former drama therapist for runaway and homeless children, she is the author of a number of books for children, young adults, and adults, including Miracle’s Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Award. Her other titles include If You Come Softly (1998), I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This (1995), Lena (2000), and Autobiography of a Family Photo (1996). Her picture books include The Other Side (2001), Sweet, Sweet Memory (2001), We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past (1998), and Our Gracie Aunt (2002). Her video, “Among Good Christian People,” a collaborative project with Katherine Saalfield, received an American Film Institute Award. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook Retreat Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She lives in Brooklyn, and is currently working on a novel for adults, Grail, NY. www.jacquelinewoodson.com

    FINALISTS FOR THE 2002 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION

    Robert A. Caro, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf)
    In this, the 1,152-page third installment of Robert Caro’s biography of the 36th president, Johnson’s story is carried through his 12 years (1949-1960) in the United States Senate. Caro reveals how Johnson – in his ascent to the presidency – triumphed in the Senate as no political leader before him had ever done. And, in the telling, Caro also presents a primer on how legislative power really works in America.

    A graduate of Princeton University, Robert A. Caro spent six years as an award-winning investigative reporter for Newsday and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. To research his three-volume The Years of Lyndon Johnson, he moved from his native New York City to Texas Hill Country then to Washington D.C. In 1975, he was a National Book Award Finalist for The Power Broker, about New York City’s public works “czar” Robert Moses; and was a Finalist again in 1983 for The Path To Power – the first volume of his LBJ biography.

    Devra Davis, When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution (Basic Books/Perseus Books Group)
    The author, a leading public health expert, confronts both public triumphs and private failures in the battle against environmental pollution. She reports on the deadly London smog of 1952 (when deaths were falsely attributed to influenza); behind-the-scenes machinations by oil companies and auto manufacturers to keep lead in gasoline; and the pollution that killed many in her own family and forced others – survivors of the 1948 smog emergency in Donora, Pennsylvania – to live out their lives with damaged health.

    Devra Davis’s work as a leading epidemiologist and researcher on the environmental causes of breast cancer and chronic disease has made her an internationally known figure. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She is currently a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and lives in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

    Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Co.)
    A Boston surgeon recounts true cases of patients and doctors making critical choices when the science was ambiguous, information was limited, and the stakes were high. The author scrutinizes what happens when medicine comes face-to-face with the inexplicable.

    A graduate of Harvard Medical School and a Rhodes Scholar, Atul Gawande is also a staff writer at The New Yorker covering science and medicine. The son of physicians, he is chief surgical resident at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children.

    Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man (Viking Penguin)
    Masculine identity in America – along with our various ingrained ideas about inventiveness, narcissism, isolation, and intimacy – are all explored in the course of unraveling the story of Eustace Conway, a self-made “throwback” who deserted suburbia’s comforts at the age of 17 to make his way in the Appalachian Mountains, where he has lived off the land for the past 20 years.

    Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of a short story collection, Pilgrims (1997), and a novel, Stern Men (2000). She works as a writer-at-large for GQ magazine, and her journalism has been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Spin, and the New York Times Magazine. Her stories have appeared in Esquire, Story, and the Paris Review. She lives in New York City.

    Steve Olson, Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes (Houghton Mifflin Company)
    Literally traveling across four continents, Steve Olson physically and critically explored 150,000 years of human history. The veteran science journalist charts the African origins of modern humans, and, by following the migration of our human ancestors throughout the world, presents a genealogy of all humanity.

    Steve Olson has worked for the National Academy of Sciences, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Institute of Genomic Research. A science journalist with more than 20 years experience, he is the author of several other books, including Shaping the Future and Biotechnology, and has written for the Atlantic Monthly, Science, and many other magazines. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

Bios for Poetry and Fiction will follow in another post.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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