News Release

Contact: Mike Lange
213-237-4715
mike.lange@latimes.com


Los Angeles Times Names Book Prize Winners
24th annual literary awards presented April 24 at UCLA’s Royce Hall


LOS ANGELES, April 26, 2004 – The Los Angeles Times presented its annual Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and honored nine Book Prize winners during its 24th annual Book Prizes ceremony on April 24.

Ishmael Reed, award-winning author of more than 20 novels, essays, plays and poems, was presented with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. Reed is the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award and the Lila Wallace Foundation Award. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and two-time nominee for the National Book Award. Reed recently wrote “Another Day at the Front: Dispatches from the Race War” (Basic Books). Some of his other works include “The Freelance Pallbearers,” “Mumbo Jumbo,” and “Blues City: A Walk in Oakland.” Reed has taught at Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth and for many years has been on the faculty at UC Berkeley.

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 Reed, receives a $1,000 cash award.

Michael York, author and internationally renowned star of stage, screen and television, served as the master of ceremonies for the presentation of the Book Prizes.

Book Prize winners
· Biography – Neil Smith, “American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization” (University of California Press). Presented by Vivian Gornick.

· Current Interest – Ross Terrill, “The New Chinese Empire – And What It Means for the United States” (Basic Books). Presented by Dean Baquet.

· Fiction – Pete Dexter, “Train: A Novel” (Doubleday). Presented by Bruce Wagner.

· First Fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award) – Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (Doubleday). Presented by Carolyn See.

· History – Henry Wiencek, “An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Presented by Kevin Starr.

· Mystery/Thriller – George P. Pelecanos, “Soul Circus: A Novel” (Little, Brown). Presented by April Smith.

· Poetry – Anthony Hecht, “Collected Later Poems” (Alfred A. Knopf). Presented by Dana Gioia.

· Science and Technology – Philip J. Hilts, “Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business and One Hundred Years of Regulation” (Alfred A. Knopf). Presented by K.C. Cole.

· Young Adult Fiction – Jennifer Donnelly, “A Northern Light” (Harcourt Children’s Books). Presented by R.L. Stine.

Book Prize finalists including winners:

Biography
· Deirdre Bair, “Jung: A Biography” (Little, Brown)
· T.J. Binyon, “Pushkin: A Biography” (Alfred A. Knopf)
· Robert Hughes, “Goya” (Alfred A. Knopf)
· Neil Smith, “American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization” (University of California Press)
· Rebecca Solnit, “River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West” (Viking)

Current Interest
· Jon Krakauer, “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith” (Doubleday)
· Gerald Posner, “Why America Slept: The Failure To Prevent 9/11” (Random House)
· Carlo Rotella, “Cut Time: An Education at the Fights” (Houghton Mifflin)
· Anthony Swofford, “Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles” (Scribner)
· Ross Terrill, “The New Chinese Empire -- And What It Means for the United States” (Basic Books)

Fiction
· Sherman Alexie, “Ten Little Indians: Stories” (Grove Press / Grove/Atlantic)
· Pete Dexter, “Train: A Novel” (Doubleday)
· Michelle Huneven, “Jamesland” (Alfred A. Knopf)
· Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Namesake” (Houghton Mifflin)
· Tobias Wolff, “Old School: A Novel” (Alfred A. Knopf)

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
· Monica Ali, “Brick Lane: A Novel” (Scribner)
· David Marshall Chan, “Goblin Fruit: Stories” (Context Books)
· Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (Doubleday)
· John Murray, “A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies: Stories” (HarperCollins)
· Lara Vapnyar, “There Are Jews in My House” (Pantheon Books)

History
· Anne Applebaum, “Gulag: A History” (Doubleday)
· Louis Crompton, “Homosexuality and Civilization” (Belknap Press / Harvard University Press)
· David Maraniss, “They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967” (Simon & Schuster)
· Timothy Tackett, “When the King Took Flight” (Harvard University Press)
· Henry Wiencek, “An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Mystery/Thriller
· Neil Gordon, “The Company You Keep” (Viking)
· Peter Lovesey, “The House Sitter” (Soho Press)
· Henning Mankell, “The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery” [translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson] (The New Press)
· Rebecca Pawel, “Death of a Nationalist” (Soho Press)
· George P. Pelecanos, “Soul Circus: A Novel” (Little, Brown)

Poetry
· Henri Cole, “Middle Earth” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
· Anthony Hecht, “Collected Later Poems” (Alfred A. Knopf)
· Charles Simic, “The Voice at 3:00 A.M.: Selected Late & New Poems” (Harcourt)
· Rosanna Warren, “Departure: Poems” (W.W. Norton & Company)
· Kevin Young, “Jelly Roll: A Blues” (Alfred A. Knopf)

Science and Technology
· David Baron, “The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature” (W.W. Norton & Company)
· Chandler Burr, “The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses” (Random House)
· Stephen S. Hall, “Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension” (Houghton Mifflin)
· Philip J. Hilts, “Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation” (Alfred A. Knopf)
· Paul Hoffman, “Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight” (Hyperion)

Young Adult Fiction
· Martha Brooks, “True Confessions of a Heartless Girl” (Melanie Kroupa Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers)
· Jennifer Donnelly, “A Northern Light” (Harcourt Children’s Books)
· Kevin Henkes, “Olive’s Ocean” (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Children’s Books)
· Richard Peck, “The River Between Us” (Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Young Readers Group)
· Francine Prose, “After” (Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins Children's Books)

About the Book Prizes
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980.

Los Angeles Times Book Prize 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, Carl Sagan and W.G. Sebald.

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.

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 newspaper in the country and the winner of 35 Pulitzer Prizes. The Times publishes five daily regional editions covering 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.