Robert Alter wins Kirsch Award

Robert Alter, a UC Berkeley professor and author of 22 works on the Bible, literary modernism and contemporary Hebrew literature, will be the 29th recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award when the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are presented April 24.

The Kirsch is a lifetime achievement honor named for a past L.A. Times book critic.

The Times Book Prizes honor 45 nominees in nine categories. Here is a complete list:


H.W. Brands, “Traitor to

His Class”

Ernest Freeberg, “Democracy’s Prisoner”

Paula J. Giddings, “Ida: A Sword Among Lions”

Jon Meacham,

“American Lion”

Jackie Wullschlager, “Chagall”

Current interest

Steve Coll, “The Bin Ladens”

Dexter Filkins, “The Forever War”

Barton Gellman, “Angler”

Jane Mayer, “The Dark Side”

Jill Bolte Taylor, “My Stroke of Insight”


Sebastian Barry, “The Secret Scripture”

Richard Price, “Lush Life”

Marilynne Robinson, “Home”

Joan Silber, “The Size of

the World”

Marisa Silver, “The God

of War”

Art Seidenbaum Award, first fiction

Uwem Akpan, “Say You’re One of Them”

Zoe Ferraris, “Finding Nouf”

Sadie Jones, “The Outcast”

Roma Tearne, “Mosquito”

David Wroblewski, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”


Michael Dobbs, “One Minute to Midnight”

Drew Gilpin Faust, “This

Republic of Suffering”

Mark Mazower, “Hitler’s


Thomas J. Sugrue, “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Rick Wartzman, “Obscene in the Extreme”


Colin Harrison, “The Finder”

Michael Koryta, “Envy the Night”

Simon Lewis, “Bad Traffic”

Nina Revoyr, “The Age

of Dreaming”

Tom Rob Smith, “Child 44"


Frank Bidart, “Watching the Spring Festival”

Jorie Graham, “Sea Change”

Marie Howe, “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time”

Cole Swensen, “Ours”

Connie Voisine, “Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream”


Avery Gilbert, “What the

Nose Knows”

Kenneth R. Miller, “Only a Theory”

Martin J.S. Rudwick, “Worlds Before Adam”

Leonard Susskind, “The Black Hole War”

Carl Zimmer, “Microcosm”

Young adult literature

Candace Fleming, “The


Neil Gaiman, “The Graveyard Book”

Oscar Hijuelos, “Dark Dude”

Nate Powell, “Swallow Me Whole”

Terry Pratchett, “Nation”