The Los Angeles Times
launched its weekend-long celebration of literature, authors, reading and community at the 31st Annual Book Prizes
ceremony tonight, honoring extraordinary literary accomplishments in 12 categories. Held at The Times' Chandler Auditorium and hosted by Book Critic David L. Ulin, the event opens Saturday and Sunday's 16th Annual Festival of Books
, the country's largest public literary festival debuting at its new home on the University of Southern California campus.
In an evening of firsts, Beverly Cleary was the first children's author to win the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, and Powell's Books was the first bookstore ever honored, receiving the Innovator's Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art.
Cleary was cited as "a revolutionary figure" for the impact of her first novel, Henry Huggins. Published in 1950, it displayed a "clear-cut, but radical agenda: to write directly and movingly for kids." Her signature characters have become "some of the most recognizable icons not just of children's literature but of American literature."
Powell's Books, founded in 1971, was noted for being "an innovator all along." One of the first to embrace online bookselling, it quickly became an industry leader in creating a "cohesive strategy that makes books available for readers in whatever way they prefer." 2010 Book Prize Winners
- Biography: Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience & Redemption (Random House)
- Current Interest: Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (W. W. Norton & Company)
- Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: Peter Bognanni, The House of Tomorrow (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)
- Fiction: Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf)
- Graphic Novel: Adam Hines, Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One (Adhouse Books)
- History: Thomas Powers, The Killing of Crazy Horse (Knopf)
- Mystery-Thriller: Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (William Morrow)
- Poetry: Maxine Kumin, Where I Live: New &Selected Poems 1990-2010 (W. W. Norton & Company)
- Science & Technology: Oren Harman, The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness (W. W. Norton & Company)
- Young Adult Literature: Megan Whalen Turner, A Conspiracy of Kings (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)
- Robert Kirsch Award: Beverly Cleary
- Innovator's Award: Powell's Books
A complete list of 2010 finalists and past winners, as well as eligibility and judging information can be found at www.latimesbookprizes.com
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