LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2004 – The Los Angeles Times has announced the finalists for the 24th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, which will be presented April 24 at UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles.
The 45 Book Prize finalists were announced during a March 5th evening reception at the National Arts Club in New York. Kenneth Turan, director of the Book Prizes and Times film critic, and Times Book Editor Steve Wasserman hosted the event.
The 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will honor outstanding literary achievement in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction.
In addition to these nine categories awards, the annual Robert Kirsch Award also will be presented April 24. The award will recognize the body of work of an author who resides in and/or whose work focuses on the Western United States. It is named after Robert Kirsch, who served as The Times' book critic for more than 25 years prior to his death in 1980. There are no finalists for this category.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980. Each Book Prize includes a $1,000 cash award.
Confirmed category award presenters at the ceremony are Dean Baquet, K.C. Cole, Dana Gioia, Carolyn See, Kevin Starr and R.L. Stine. Author Jonathan Kirsch, son of the late book critic, will present the Robert Kirsch Award.
Information about the awards ceremony and the Book Prize awards program is available at www.latimes.com/bookprizes or by calling 1-800-LATIMES, ext. 72366.
The Book Prize awards ceremony will be the highlight of the ninth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one of the nation's premier public literary festivals and the largest of its kind on the West Coast. The festival will be held April 24-25 on the UCLA campus.
Book Prize Finalists
• Deirdre Bair, “Jung: A Biography” (Little, Brown) • T.J. Binyon, “Pushkin: A Biography” (Alfred A. Knopf) • Robert Hughes, “Goya” (Alfred A. Knopf) • Neil Smith, “American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization” (University of California Press) • Rebecca Solnit, “River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West” (Viking)
• Jon Krakauer, “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith” (Doubleday) • Gerald Posner, “Why America Slept: The Failure To Prevent 9/11” (Random House) • Carlo Rotella, “Cut Time: An Education at the Fights” (Houghton Mifflin) • Anthony Swofford, “Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles” (Scribner) • Ross Terrill, “The New Chinese Empire -- And What It Means for the United States” (Basic Books)
• Sherman Alexie, “Ten Little Indians: Stories” (Grove Press / Grove/Atlantic) • Pete Dexter, “Train: A Novel” (Doubleday) • Michelle Huneven, “Jamesland” (Alfred A. Knopf) • Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Namesake” (Houghton Mifflin) • Tobias Wolff, “Old School: A Novel” (Alfred A. Knopf)
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
• Monica Ali, “Brick Lane: A Novel” (Scribner) • David Marshall Chan, “Goblin Fruit: Stories” (Context Books) • Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (Doubleday) • John Murray, “A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies: Stories” (HarperCollins) • Lara Vapnyar, “There Are Jews in My House” (Pantheon Books)
• Anne Applebaum, “Gulag: A History” (Doubleday) • Louis Crompton, “Homosexuality and Civilization” (Belknap Press / Harvard University Press) • David Maraniss, “They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967” (Simon & Schuster) • Timothy Tackett, “When the King Took Flight” (Harvard University Press) • Henry Wiencek, “An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
• Neil Gordon, “The Company You Keep” (Viking) • Peter Lovesey, “The House Sitter” (Soho Press) • Henning Mankell, “The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery” [translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson] (The New Press) • Rebecca Pawel, “Death of a Nationalist” (Soho Press) • George P. Pelecanos, “Soul Circus: A Novel” (Little, Brown)
• Henri Cole, “Middle Earth” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) • Anthony Hecht, “Collected Later Poems” (Alfred A. Knopf) • Charles Simic, “The Voice at 3:00 A.M.: Selected Late & New Poems” (Harcourt) • Rosanna Warren, “Departure: Poems” (W.W. Norton & Company) • Kevin Young, “Jelly Roll: A Blues” (Alfred A. Knopf)
Science and Technology
• David Baron, “The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature” (W.W. Norton & Company) • Chandler Burr, “The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses” (Random House) • Stephen S. Hall, “Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension” (Houghton Mifflin) • Philip J. Hilts, “Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation” (Alfred A. Knopf) • Paul Hoffman, “Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight” (Hyperion)
Young Adult Fiction
• Martha Brooks, “True Confessions of a Heartless Girl” (Melanie Kroupa Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers) • Jennifer Donnelly, “A Northern Light” (Harcourt Children’s Books) • Kevin Henkes, “Olive’s Ocean” (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Children’s Books) • Richard Peck, “The River Between Us” (Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Young Readers Group) • Francine Prose, “After” (Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins Children's Books)
Robert Kirsch Award
• There are no finalists for this category. The winner will be announced April 24.
Finalist Selection Process
Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were selected by eight three-member committees. Fiction category judges also chose the first fiction category finalists. Most of the judges are published authors and serve a two-year term. None of the judges, except for the Kirsch award, are current Los Angeles Times employees.
There is no nationality requirement for author nominees in any category. With the exception of significant new translations of a deceased author's work, all authors should be living at the time of U.S. publication.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. Last year, more than 150,000 people attended the event, which featured 370 best-selling authors, 95 panel sessions and 300 specialty booksellers and book publishers.
General event information is available online at www.latimes.com/festivalofbooks or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK. Detailed speaker and event information will be provided in the official festival program, which will be published in the April 18 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 30 Pulitzer Prizes. The Times publishes five regional editions covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties, San Fernando Valley and an Inland Empire edition covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as a National edition.