Los Angeles Times Names Book Prize Winners
24th annual literary awards presented April 24 at UCLA’s Royce
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.
Book Prize finalists including winners:
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
Rebecca Solnit, “River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the
Technological Wild West” (Viking)
Jon Krakauer, “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent
Gerald Posner, “Why America Slept: The Failure To Prevent 9/11” (Random
Carlo Rotella, “Cut Time: An Education at the Fights” (Houghton
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)
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
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
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
Henry Wiencek, “An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves,
and the Creation of America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
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,
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
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
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
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.