Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Kirsch Award Honors William Kittredge

NEW YORK, March 1, 2007 – William Kittredge has been named the winner of the 27th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes’ Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

The award was announced tonight along with the names of the 45 finalists for the 2006 Book Prizes during an evening reception at the National Arts Club in New York City. Serving as event hosts were Times Editor Jim O’Shea, Times Book Prize Director Kenneth Turan and Times Book Editor David L. Ulin.

The Book Prizes will be presented April 27th at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles. In addition to the Kirsch Award, the evening will honor 2006’s outstanding books in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction.

The Kirsch Award honors a living author with a substantial connection to the American West whose contribution to American letters deserves special recognition. William Kittredge is a master storyteller, essayist and influential cultural voice known for his unflinching vision of the hardscrabble landscape of the West and the people who survive and die on it. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

Presenting the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be Rick Wartzman (Biography), Reza Aslan (Current Interest), Steve Lopez (Fiction), Jane Smiley (First Fiction – the Art Seidenbaum Award), Geoffrey R. Stone (History), Lisa See (Mystery/Thriller), James Ragan (Poetry), David L. Ulin (the Robert Kirsch Award), M.G. Lord (Science and Technology) and Jacqueline Woodson (Young Adult Fiction).

The awards ceremony will lead off the 12th 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, held April 28-29 on the UCLA campus. The event will be hosted by acclaimed author and news anchor Jim Lehrer of “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” on PBS.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980. Each Book Prize includes a $1,000 cash award. The named awards commemorate the life and work of Robert Kirsch, who served as The Times’ book critic for more than 25 years prior to his death in 1980, and of the late Art Seidenbaum, who founded the Book Prizes. Information about the awards ceremony and the Book Prize awards program is available at or by calling 1-800-LATIMES, x72366.

Book Prize Finalists

Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Doubleday)
Rodney Bolt, The Librettist of Venice: The Remarkable Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart’s Poet, Casanova’s Friend, and Italian Opera’s Impresario in America (Bloomsbury USA)
Neal Gabler, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (Alfred A. Knopf)
Jeffrey Goldberg, Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew across the Middle East Divide (Alfred A. Knopf)
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (HarperCollins)

Current Interest
Douglas Brinkley, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (William Morrow / HarperCollins)
Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (Penguin Press)
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (Alfred A. Knopf)
Alicia Drake, The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris (Little, Brown)
Terri Jentz, Strange Piece of Paradise (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

David Mitchell, Black Swan Green: A Novel (Random House)
Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo: A Novel (Little, Brown)
Susan Straight, A Million Nightingales (Pantheon Books)
Daniel Woodrell, Winter’s Bone: A Novel (Little, Brown)
A.B. Yehoshua, A Woman in Jerusalem [translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin] (Harcourt)

First Fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award)
Tony D’Souza, Whiteman (Harcourt)
Lisa Fugard, Skinner’s Drift: A Novel (Scribner)
Jennifer Gilmore, Golden Country: A Novel (Scribner)
Alice Greenway, White Ghost Girls (Black Cat / Grove/Atlantic)
Janis Cooke Newman, Mary: A Novel (MacAdam/Cage Publishing)

Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 (Simon & Schuster)
Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (Penguin Press)
Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (Viking)
John Tayman, The Colony (Lisa Drew / Scribner)
Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Alfred A. Knopf)

Mystery / Thriller
Michael Connelly, Echo Park: A Novel (Little, Brown)
Patrick Neate, City of Tiny Lights (Riverhead Books)
George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener: A Novel (Little, Brown)
Jess Walter, The Zero: A Novel (HarperCollins)
Don Winslow, The Winter of Frankie Machine (Alfred A. Knopf)

Erin Belieu, Black Box (Copper Canyon Press)
Adrian C. Louis, Logorrhea (TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press)
Thom Satterlee, Burning Wyclif (Texas Tech University Press)
Frederick Seidel, Ooga-Booga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Michael Waters, Darling Vulgarity (BOA Editions)

Science and Technology
Joyce E. Chaplin, The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius (Basic Books)
Ann Gibbons, The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors (Doubleday)
Eric R. Kandel, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind (W.W. Norton)
Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (Dutton)
Edward O. Wilson, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (W.W. Norton)

Young Adult Fiction
M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party (Candlewick Press)
Coe Booth, Tyrell (Push / Scholastic)
John Green, An Abundance of Katherines (Dutton Books / Penguin Young Readers Group)
Meg Rosoff, Just in Case (Wendy Lamb Books / Random House Children’s Books)
Nancy Werlin, The Rules of Survival (Dial Books / Penguin Young Readers Group)

Finalist Selection Process
Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were selected by eight three-member committees (the fiction panel covers both the fiction and first fiction categories). 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.


About the 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. More than 130,000 people attend the event annually.

General event information is available online at 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 23rd edition of the Los Angeles Times.

About the Los Angeles Times
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of nearly 2.2 million and about 3.3 million on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates - including,, Times Community Newspapers, Recycler Classifieds, Hoy, and California Community News - are read by approximately 8.1 million or 62% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace every week.

The Los Angeles Times, has been covering Southern California for over 125 years and is part of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available at