LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2005 The Los Angeles Times presented its annual Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and honored nine Book Prize winners during its 25th annual Book Prizes ceremony, April 22 at UCLA's Royce Hall.
Best-selling mystery writer Tony Hillerman, whose writings over the past 35 years are infused with the landscape and culture of the American Southwest, was presented with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.
The citation noted Hillerman's appeal to an "international readership that has remained attentive and appreciative over the last 35 years. Tony Hillerman is a master storyteller who has reinvented the mystery novel as a venue for the exploration and celebration of Native American history, culture and identity."
The Robert Kirsch Award, presented by Jonathan Kirsch, recognizes the body of work by an author who resides in and/or whose work focuses on the Western United States and whose contributions to American letters merit body-of-work recognition. The late Robert Kirsch served as The Times' book critic for more than 25 years before his death in 1980. He was a novelist, editor and teacher as well as one the nation's foremost book critics.
This year's Los Angeles Times Book Prizes honored outstanding literary achievement in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction. Each winner, including Hillerman, receives a $1,000 cash award.
Author/journalist Sir Harold Evans served as the master of ceremonies for the presentation of the Book Prizes.
Book Prizes winners
- Biography Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, de Kooning: An American Master (Alfred A. Knopf). Presented by Neal Gabler.
- Current Interest Evan Wright, Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War (G.P. Putnam's Sons). Presented by Michael Kinsley.
- Fiction Colm Tóibín, The Master: A Novel (Scribner). Presented by Alice Sebold.
- First Fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award) Lorraine Adams, Harbor (Alfred A. Knopf). Presented by Patricia Seidenbaum.
- History Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (W.W. Norton & Company). Presented by Douglas Brinkley.
- Mystery/Thriller Kem Nunn, Tijuana Straits: A Novel (Scribner). Presented by T. Jefferson Parker.
- Poetry Richard Howard, Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Presented by Carol Muske Dukes.
- Science and Technology Charles Wohlforth, The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change (North Point Press / Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Presented by Sally Ride.
- Young Adult Fiction Melvin Burgess, Doing It (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Presented by Jennifer Donnelly.
2004 Book Prize finalists (including winners)
Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (Penguin Press)
Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (W.W. Norton & Company)
Richard Rhodes, John James Audubon: The Making of an American (Alfred A. Knopf)
Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, de Kooning: An American Master (Alfred A. Knopf)
Michael J. Ybarra, Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt (Steerforth Press)
Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness (Alfred A. Knopf)
Edward Conlon, Blue Blood (Riverhead Books)
Michael Dirda, Bound to Please: An Extraordinary One-Volume Literary Education -- Essays on Great Writers and Their Books (W.W. Norton & Company)
Ann Patchett, Truth & Beauty: A Friendship (HarperCollins)
Evan Wright, Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Chris Abani, GraceLand (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Russell Banks, The Darling (HarperCollins)
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Colm Tóibín, The Master: A Novel (Scribner)
Joy Williams, Honored Guest: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf)
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
Lorraine Adams, Harbor (Alfred A. Knopf)
David Bezmozgis, Natasha and Other Stories (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Pete Duval, Rear View: Stories (Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin)
Susan Fletcher, Eve Green (W.W. Norton & Company)
Lisa Glatt, A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That (Simon & Schuster)
Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (Penguin Press)
Max Frankel, High Noon in the Cold War: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Presidio Press / Ballantine Books)
Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (W.W. Norton & Company)
Richard Steven Street, Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913 (Stanford University Press)
Alfred F. Young, Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier (Alfred A. Knopf)
Alan Furst, Dark Voyage: A Novel (Random House)
Henning Mankell, The Return of the Dancing Master [translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson] (The New Press)
Charles McCarry, Old Boys (Overlook Press)
Kem Nunn, Tijuana Straits: A Novel (Scribner)
Ian Rankin, A Question of Blood: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Little, Brown)
Richard Howard, Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Brigit Pegeen Kelly, The Orchard: Poems (BOA Editions, Ltd.)
Joshua Mehigan, The Optimist: Poems (Ohio University Press)
Spencer Reece, The Clerk's Tale: Poems (Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin)
Catherine Tufariello, Keeping My Name (Texas Tech University Press)
Science and Technology
Ann B. Parson, The Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine (Joseph Henry Press / National Academies Press)
Lauren Slater, Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century (W.W. Norton & Company)
Alan Tennant, On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon (Alfred A. Knopf)
Jonathan Weiner, His Brother's Keeper: A Story from the Edge of Medicine (Ecco / HarperCollins)
Charles Wohlforth, The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change (North Point Press / Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Young Adult Fiction
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (Cinco Puntos Press)
Melvin Burgess, Doing It (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Michael Morpurgo, Private Peaceful (Scholastic Press)
Adam Rapp, Under the Wolf, Under the Dog (Candlewick Press)
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now (Wendy Lamb Books / Random House Children's Books)
About the Book Prizes
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980. Los Angeles Times Book Prizes finalists and winners are selected by eight three-member committees. Fiction category judges also choose the first fiction category finalists and winner. 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.
The Book Prizes have honored numerous internationally distinguished literary figures including Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Isherwood, Milan Kundera, Ursula Le Guin, Frank McCourt, David McCullough, Larry McMurtry, Tillie Olsen, Ishmael Reed, Carl Sagan and W.G. Sebald.
The Robert Kirsch Award recognizes the body of work by an author who resides in and/or whose work focuses on the Western United States and whose contributions to American letters merit body-of-work recognition. The late Robert Kirsch served as The Times' book critic for more than 25 years before his death in 1980. He was a novelist, editor and teacher as well as one the nation's foremost book critics.
Information about the Book Prize awards ceremony and awards program is available at www.latimes.com/bookprizes.
The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 37 Pulitzer Prizes, including two this year. The Times publishes five daily regional editions, including the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties, the San Fernando Valley, and an Inland Empire edition covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties as well as a National edition. Additional information about The Times is available at www.latimes.com/mediacenter.