Finalists Announced for Times Book Prizes


The finalists for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced Wednesday night in New York. Now in its 19th year, the prizes acknowledge remarkable achievement in eight categories of writing, ranging from fiction to science and technology. For the first time young adult fiction will be honored.

The public is invited to the book prize ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall on April 23, during which the winners will be announced. General admission is $10.

The ceremony launches the fourth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, on the UCLA campus.



“Evening” by Susan Minot (Alfred A. Knopf); “Freedomland” by Richard Price (Broadway Books); “I Married a Communist” by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin); “The Rings of Saturn” by Winfried Georg Sebald, translated from the German by Michael Hulse (New Directions); “Death in Summer” by William Trevor (Viking).

First Fiction (The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction)

“Kalimantaan” by C.S. Godshalk (Henry Holt); “A Crowded Heart: A Novel” by Nicholas Papandreou (Picador); “Blue Bossa” by Bart Schneider (Viking); “The Undiscovered Country” by Samantha Gillison (Grove / Atlantic); “Hunger: A Novella and Stories” by Lan Samantha Chang (W.W. Norton).

Current Interest

“Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country” by William Finnegan (Random House); “Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars” by Cynthia Gorney (Simon & Schuster); “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda” by Philip Gourevitch (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); “On the Outside Looking In: A Year in an Inner-City High School” by Cristina Rathbone (Grove / Atlantic).


“Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture” by Kathy Peiss (Metropolitan Books); “Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America” by Ira Berlin (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press); “The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life” by Nancy Tomes (Harvard Univerity Press); “Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry” by Philip D. Morgan (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture); “The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity” by Roy Porter (W.W. Norton).

Science and Technology

“Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce” by Douglas Starr (Alfred A. Knopf); “Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight” by Pat Shipman (Simon & Schuster); “The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science, and Character” by Daniel J. Kevles (W.W. Norton); “Mendel’s Dwarf” by Simon Mawer (Harmony Books); “Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind” by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee (William Morrow).


“Lindbergh” by A. Scott Berg (G.P. Putnam’s Sons); “Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull” by Barbara Goldsmith (Alfred A. Knopf); “The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse, the Early Years, 1869-1908” by Hilary Spurling (Alfred A. Knopf); “A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1751-1816” by Fintan O’Toole (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); “Victor Hugo: A Biography” by Graham Robb (W.W. Norton).


“The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative” by W.S. Merwin (Alfred A. Knopf); “Without: Poems” by Donald Hall (Houghton Mifflin); “The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems” by Jim Harrison (Copper Canyon Press); “Mysteries of Small Houses” by Alice Notley (Penguin); “American Rush: Selected Poems” by Maureen Owen (Talisman House).

Young Adult Fiction

“Go and Come Back: A Novel” by Joan Abelove (DK Ink); “Rules of the Road” by Joan Bauer (G.P. Putnam’s Sons); “In a Dark Wood” by Michael Cadnum (Orchard Books); “Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers” by Gary Paulsen (Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers); “Holes” by Louis Sachar (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

For more information, call (213) 237-5775.