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LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZES PREVIOUS HONOREES

2016: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

Ruebén Martinez, the founder of Libreria Martinez, is the 2016 Innovator’s Award winner in honor of his work promoting books and reading within the Latino-American and Spanish-speaking communities. Martínez’s passion for reading inspired him to open a bookstore in his Santa Ana barbershop in the early 1990s. It quickly became a cornerstone of the community, evolved into a nationally-renowned center of Chicano/Latino literature and art, and lives on today through the Centro Comunitario de Educación – Chapman University’s learning center which houses Martínez’s book collection. Currently a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University, Martínez acts as an ambassador to encourage Latinos to pursue higher education and lifelong learning. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2004, Martinez continues his bookselling work through his partnership with Hudson Newsstands and bookstores in airports across the country selecting books and working with associates to reach readers nationwide.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Novelist Thomas McGuane is the 2016 Robert Kirsch Award winner which recognizes the body of work of a writer of the American West. McGuane’s 10 novels range from 92 In the Shade (A National Book Award finalist) to 2010’s Driving on the Rim. In addition to his three short story collections of which “Crow Fair” is his most recent, McGuane has written several screenplays including 1976’s Missouri Breaks which was made into a film starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Like much of his fiction, his essay collections are devoted to his life in the outdoors. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as both The National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame and the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Nathan Hill / The Nix, Alfred A. Knopf
Runners Up

Sara Baume, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Mark Beauregard, The Whale: A Love Story, Viking
Idra Novey, Ways to Disappear, Little, Brown and Company
Rebecca Schiff, The Bed Moved, Alfred A. Knopf

Biography

Winner
Volker Ullrich / Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, Alfred A. Knopf
Runners Up

Claire Harman, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart, Alfred A. Knopf
Frances Wilson, Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

Runners Up

Tash Aw, The Face: Strangers on a Pier, Restless Books
Scholastique Mukasonga (Author), Jordan Stump (Translator), Cockroaches, Archipelago Books
Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn: A Novel, Amistad/HarperCollins

Current Interest

Winner
Svetlana Alexievich (Author), Bela Shayevich (Translator) / Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, Random House

Fiction

Winner
Adam Haslett / Imagine Me Gone, Little, Brown and Company
Runners Up

Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Lydia Millet, Sweet Lamb of Heaven, W. W. Norton and Company
Zadie Smith, Swing Time, Penguin Press
Dana Spiotta, Innocents and Others, Scribner

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Nick Drnaso / Beverly, Drawn & Quarterly
Runners Up

Anna Haifisch, The Artist, Breakdown Press LTD
Patrick Kyle, Don’t Come in Here, Koyama Press
Jason Shiga, Demon: Volume 1, First Second/Macmillan

History


Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Bill Beverly / Dodgers, Crown
Runners Up

Emma Cline, The Girls, Random House
Ian McGuire, The North Water, Henry Holt and Co
Thomas Mullen, Darktown, 37 Ink/Atria Books

Poetry

Winner
Rosmarie Waldrop / Gap Gardening: Selected Poems, New Directions
Runners Up

Ishion Hutchinson, House of Lords and Commons: Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Phillis Levin, Mr. Memory & Other Poems, Penguin Books
Jane Mead, World of Made and Unmade, Alice James Books
Robyn Schiff, A Woman of Property, Penguin Books

Science & Technology

Runners Up

Mary Roach, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, W. W. Norton and Company
Sonia Shah, Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Frances Hardinge / The Lie Tree, Harry N. Abrams
Runners Up

Socorro Acioli/ Daniel Hahn (Translator), The Head of the Saint, Delacorte
Julie Berry, The Passion of Dolssa, Viking Books for Young Readers
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, March: Book Three, Top Shelf Productions
Meg Medina, Burn, Baby, Burn, Candlewick

2015: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

James Patterson has left a singular mark on the literary community through his writing for adults and young people, as well as through his efforts to make books and reading a national priority. His support of libraries, independent bookstores, booksellers, teachers and students is unsurpassed with millions of dollars in grants and scholarships going toward encouraging Americans to read and supporting those who foster reading. A feature film based on his bestselling Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life series is set for release this fall.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Juan Felipe Herrera’s literary contributions include poetry, prose, young adult novels and children’s literature, and his work in all artistic forms highlights a life dedicated to giving voice to those who are not always heard.

Biography

Winner
Hayden Herrera / Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Terry Alford, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth, Oxford University Press
Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, Jonas Salk: A Life, Oxford University Press

Current Interest

Winner
Sarah Chayes / Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security (W. W. Norton and Company)

Fiction

Winner
Valeria Luiselli, Translated by Christina MacSweeney / The Story of My Teeth (Coffee House Press)
Runners Up

Anne Enright, The Green Road, W. W. Norton and Company
James Hannaham, Delicious Foods, Little, Brown and Company
Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles, Random House
Helen Phillips, Beautiful Bureaucrat, Henry Holt and Co.

Graphic Novel/Comics

Runners Up

Sam Alden, New Construction: Two More Stories, Uncivlized Books
Julian Hanshaw, Tim Ginger, Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing
Maggie Thrash, Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir, Candlewick

History

Runners Up

Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, Liveright/W. W. Norton and Compan
Jonathan M. Bryant, Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope, Liveright/W. W. Norton and Company
David Maraniss, Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story , Simon & Schuster

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Don Winslow / The Cartel (Alfred A. Knopf)
Runners Up

Lou Berney, The Long and Faraway Gone, William Morrow
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer, Grove Press
Brian Panowich, Bull Mountain, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Richard Price, The Whites, Henry Holt & Company

Poetry

Winner
Jorie Graham / From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Runners Up

Rick Barot, Chord, Sarabande Books
Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus, Alfred A. Knopf
Fiona Sze-Lorrain, The Ruined Elegance, Princeton University Press
Jean Valentine, Shirt in Heaven, Copper Canyon Press

Science & Technology

Runners Up

David J. Morris, The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Beth Shapiro, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction, Princeton University Press
Jonathan Waldman, Rust: The Longest War, Simon & Schuster

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Chigozie Obioma / The Fishermen (Little, Brown and Company)
Runners Up

Sarah Gerard, Binary Star, Two Dollar Radio
Ben Metcalf, Against the Country, Random House
Sara Novic, Girl at War, Random House
Andrew Roe, The Miracle Girl, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Marilyn Nelson / My Seneca Village (namelos)
Runners Up

Don Brown, Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jason Reynolds, The Boy in the Black Suit, Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Laura Amy Schlitz, The Hired Girl, Candlewick

2014: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

Robert Kirsch Award Winner


Biography

Winner
Andrew Roberts / Napoleon: A Life (Viking)
Runners Up

Adam Begley, Updike, HarperCollins
Robert M. Dowling, Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts, Yale University Press
Kirstin Downey, Isabella: The Warrior Queen, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Volume 1 – Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928, The Penguin Press

Current Interest


Fiction

Winner
Siri Hustvedt / The Blazing World (Simon & Schuster)
Runners Up

Donald Antrim, The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun, Pantheon
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation, Knopf
Helen Oyeyemi, Boy, Snow, Bird, Riverhead

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Jaime Hernandez / The Love Bunglers (Fantagraphics Books)
Runners Up

Mana Neyestani, An Iranian Metamorphosis, Uncivilized Books
Olivier Schrauwen, Arséne Schrauwen, Fantagraphics
Mariko Tamaki, This One Summer, First Second
Jillian Tamaki, This One Summer, First Second

History


Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Tom Bouman / Dry Bones in the Valley (W. W. Norton & Company)
Runners Up

Peter Heller, The Painter, Knopf
Laura Lippman, After I’m Gone, William Morrow
Shawn Lawrence Otto, Sins of Our Fathers, Milkweed Editions
Peter Swanson, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart, William Morrow

Poetry

Winner
Claudia Rankine / Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)
Runners Up

Gillian Conoley, Peace, Omnidawn
Katie Ford, Blood Lyrics: Poem, Graywolf Press
Peter Gizzi, In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011, Wesleyan University Press
Fred Moten, The Feel Trio, Letter Machine Editions

Science & Technology

Winner
Elizabeth Kolbert / The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt & Co.)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Valeria Luiselli (translated by Christina MacSweeney) / Faces in the Crowd (Coffee House Press)
Runners Up

Diane Cook, Man V. Nature: Stories, HarperCollins
John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Coffee House Press
David James Poissant, The Heaven of Animals: Stories, Simon & Schuster

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Candace Fleming / The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia (Schwartz & Wade/Random House Children’s)
Runners Up

E.K. Johnston, The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing
Andrew Smith, Grasshopper Jungle, Dutton Children’s Books
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming, Nancy Paulsen Books

2013: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

The recipient of the 2013 Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art, is young adult writer and activist John Green. Green’s best-selling novels have garnered numerous awards and he has been at the forefront of experimenting with social media and technology, expanding how people in and out of the literary world use these mediums to inspire and teach others.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

The recipient of the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award is Riverside native Susan Straight. Straight is a Southern California original, and a tireless supporter, and creator, of our literary culture. Her award-winning novels and short stories have opened up not just California literature but American literature to the Inland Empire, and to the often-neglected voices of the people there. Through her work as a teacher, she has inspired and mentored a new generation of California writers.

Biography

Winner
Marie Arana / Bolivar: American Liberator, (Simon & Schuster)
Runners Up

A. Scott Berg, Wilson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Benita Eisler, The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman, W. W. Norton and Company
Edna O’Brien, Country Girl: A Memoir, Little, Brown & Company
Deborah Solomon, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Current Interest

Runners Up

David Finkel, Thank You for Your Service, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy, The Penguin Press

Fiction

Winner
Ruth Ozeki / A Tale for the Time Being, (Viking)
Runners Up

Percival Everett, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Graywolf Press
Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs, Knopf
Susan Steinberg, Spectacle: Stories, Graywolf Press
Daniel Woodrell, The Maid’s Version: A Novel, Little, Brown & Company

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Ulli Lust / Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, (Fantagraphics Books)
Runners Up

David B., Incidents in the Night: Volume 1, Uncivilized Books
Anders Nilsen, The End, Fantagraphics

History

Winner
Christopher Clark / The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, (HarperCollins)
Runners Up

Richard Breitman & Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the Jews, Belknap Press of Harvard University
Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, W. W. Norton and Company

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
J. K. Rowling Writing As Robert Galbraith / The Cuckoo’s Calling, (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Company)
Runners Up

Richard Crompton, Hour of the Red God, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Company
John Grisham, Sycamore Row, Doubleday Books
Gene Kerrigan, The Rage, Europa Editions
Ferdinand von Schirach, The Collini Case, Viking

Poetry

Winner
Ron Padgett / Collected Poems, (Coffee House Press)
Runners Up

Joshua Beckman, The Inside of an Apple, Wave Books
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Hello, the Roses, New Directions
Elizabeth Robinson, On Ghosts, Solid Objects
Lynn Xu, Debts & Lessons, Omnidawn

Science & Technology

Winner
Alan Weisman / Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, (Little, Brown & Company)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Maggie Shipstead / Seating Arrangements, (Knopf)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Gene Luen Yang / Boxers & Saints, (First Second/Macmillan)
Runners Up

Elizabeth Knox, Mortal Fire, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl, St. Martin’s Griffin
Joyce Sidman, What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase, Disney-Hyperion

2012: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

Robert Kirsch Award Winner


Biography

Runners Up

David Nasaw / The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy (Penguin Press)
RJ Smith / The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Gotham Books)

Current Interest

Runners Up

Steve Coll / Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (Penguin Press)
Jake Tapper / The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (Little, Brown and Company)

Fiction

Winner
Ben Fountain / Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco)
Runners Up

Jami Attenberg / The Middlesteins: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing)
Michael Chabon / Telegraph Avenue (HarperCollins Publishers / Harper)
Lauren Groff / Arcadia (Voice/Hyperion)
Lydia Millet / Magnificence (W.W. Norton & Company)
Lydia Netzer / Shine Shine Shine (St. Martin’s Press)

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Sammy Harkham / Everything Together: Collected Stories (PictureBox)
Runners Up

Alison Bechdel / Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Leela Corman / Unterzakhn (Schocken)
Spain Rodriguez / Cruisin’ With the Hound: The Life and Times of Fred Toote (Fantagraphics)
Chris Ware / Building Stories (Pantheon)

History


Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Tana French / Broken Harbor (Viking)
Runners Up

Nick Harkaway / Angelmaker (Knopf)
Fuminori Nakamura / The Thief (Soho Crime)
Chris Pavone / The Expats (Crown)
Ariel S. Winter / The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime)

Poetry

Winner
Louise Glück / Poems 1962-2012 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Rowan Ricardo Phillips / The Ground: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
D. A. Powell / Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys: Poems (Graywolf Press)
Bin Ramke / Aerial (Omnidawn)
Cole Swensen / Gravesend (New California Poetry) (University of California Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Florence Williams / Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton & Company)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Maggie Shipstead / Seating Arrangements (Knopf)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
A.S. King / Ask the Passengers (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)
Runners Up

Paolo Bacigalupi / The Drowned Cities (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)
Martine Leavitt / My Book of Life by Angel (Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers)
Matthew Quick / Boy 21 (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)
Elizabeth Wein / Code Name Verity (Disney-Hyperion)

2011: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

Robert Kirsch Award Winner


Biography

Winner
John A. Farrell / Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned (Doubleday)
Runners Up

Manning Marable / Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking)
Robert K. Massie / Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Random House)
Alexandra Styron / Reading My Father: A Memoir (Scribner)
Mark Whitaker / My Long Trip Home (Simon & Schuster)

Current Interest

Winner
Daniel Kahneman / Thinking Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

David Bellos / Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ioan Grillo / El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency (Bloomsbury Press)
Anatol Lieven / Pakistan: A Hard Country (PublicAffairs)

Fiction

Winner
Alex Shakar / Luminarium (SoHo Press)
Runners Up

Joseph O’Connor / Ghost Light (Frances Coady Book/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Michael Ondaatje / The Cat’s Table (Knopf)
Julie Otsuka / The Buddha in the Attic (Knopf)
Edith Pearlman / Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories (Lookout Books/University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Graphic Novel

Winner
Carla Speed McNeil / Finder: Voice (Dark Horse)
Runners Up

Joseph Lambert / I Will Bite You! And Other Stories (Secret Acres)
Dave McKean / Celluloid (Fantagraphics)
Jim Woodring / Congress of the Animals (Fantagraphics)
Yuichi Yokoyama / Garden (PictureBox)

History

Winner
Richard White / Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (W.W. Norton & Company)
Runners Up

Adam Goodheart / 1861: The Civil War Awakening (Knopf)
Adam Hochschild / To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Rachel Polonsky / Molotov’s Magic Lantern: A Journey in Russian History (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Stephen King / 11/22/1963 (Scribner)
Runners Up

Kate Atkinson / Started Early, Took My Dog (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)
Eoin Colfer / Plugged (Overlook Press)
A.D. Miller / Snowdrops: A Novel (Doubleday)
Denise Mina / The End of Wasp Season (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)

Poetry

Winner
Carl Phillips / Double Shadow: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Jim Harrison / Songs of Unreason (Copper Canyon Press)
Dawn Lundy Martin / Discipline (Nightboat Books)
Linda Norton / The Public Gardens (Pressed Wafer)
Bruce Smith / Devotions (University of Chicago Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Sylvia Nasar / Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (Simon & Schuster)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Ismet Prcic / Shards (Grove Press, Black Cat)
Runners Up

Chad Harbach / The Art of Fielding (Little, Brown & Company)
Eleanor Henderson / Ten Thousand Saints (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Ben Lerner / Leaving the Atocha Station (Coffee House Press)
James Wallenstein / The Arriviste (Milkweed Editions)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Pete Hautman / The Big Crunch (Scholastic Press)
Runners Up

Libba Bray / Beauty Queens (Scholastic Press)
Mal Peet / Life: An Exploded Diagram (Candlewick Press)
Maggie Stiefvater / The Scorpio Races (Scholastic Press)

2010: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Beverly Cleary Read more, (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Biography

Winner
Laura Hillenbrand / Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience & Redemption (Penguin/Random House)
Runners Up

Selina Hastings / The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham (Penguin/Random House)
Christopher Hitchens / Hitch-22: A Memoir (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Edmund Morris / Colonel Roosevelt (Penguin/Random House)

Current Interest

Winner
Michael Lewis / The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (W. W. Norton & Company)
Runners Up

Jonathan Alter / The Promise: President Obama, Year One (Simon & Schuster)
Sebastian Junger / War (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Joe Nocera & Bethany McLean / All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis (Portfolio/Penguin Group)
Patti Smith / Just Kids (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Fiction

Winner
Jennifer Egan / A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf)
Runners Up

Rick Bass / Nashville Chrome (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Richard Bausch / Something is Out There: Stories (Penguin/Random House)
Jonathan Franzen / Freedom (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Frederick Reiken / Day for Night (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)

Graphic Novel

Winner
Adam Hines / Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One (Adhouse Books)
Runners Up

Dash Shaw / Bodyworld (Pantheon)
Karl Stevens / The Lodger (KSA Publishing)
Jim Woodring / Weathercraft (Fantagraphics)

History

Winner
Thomas Powers / The Killing of Crazy Horse (Knopf)
Runners Up

Ron Chernow / Washington: A Life (The Penguin Press)
John W. Dower / Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq (W. W. Norton & Company and The New Press)
Susan Dunn / Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought To Change the Democratic Party (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Tom Franklin / Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (William Morrow)
Runners Up

Tana French / Faithful Place (Viking)
Laura Lippman / I’d Know You Anywhere (William Morrow)
Stuart Neville / Collusion (SoHo Press)
Kelli Stanley / City of Dragons (Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book)

Poetry

Winner
Maxine Kumin / Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010 (W. W. Norton & Company)
Runners Up

Henri Cole / Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Yehoshua November / God’s Optimism (Main Street Rag)
Craig Santos Perez / From Unincorporated Territory {Saina} (Omnidawn)
Ed Roberson / To See the Earth Before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press)

Science & Technology


The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Peter Bognanni / The House of Tomorrow (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)
Runners Up

Leslie Jamison / The Gin Closet (Free Press/Simon & Schuster)
Michael Sledge / The More I Owe You (Counterpoint)
Christine Sneed / Portraits of a Few People I’ve Made Cry: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press)
Tatjana Soli / The Lotus Eaters (St. Martin’s Press)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Megan Whalen Turner / A Conspiracy of Kings (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)
Runners Up

Stephanie Hemphill / Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)
Jonathan Stroud / The Ring of Solomon (Disney/Hyperion Books for Children)
Rick Yancey / The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist) (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

2009: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Innovator’s Award Winner

The Innovator’s Award recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, whether in terms of new business models, new technologies or new applications of narrative art.
Dave Eggers has always been an innovator. From his early days at Might Magazine – where he and his partners poked smart fun at the excesses of 1990s culture – to his ongoing work with McSweeney’s, the publishing house he runs in San Francisco, he has shown a refreshing disregard for conventional wisdom, whether it has to do with what he publishes, how he publishes or that he is a publisher at all. To be sure, publishing was not something he needed to do; his first book, the memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” became a bestseller upon its release in 2000 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Were Eggers another kind of writer, this might have been enough for him, but writing is just one of the things he does. In 1998, he founded the literary journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern; the success of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” allowed him to turn McSweeney’s into a full-fledged independent press, publishing writers from Stephen Dixon and Robert Coover to Lawrence Weschler, Art Spiegelman and William T. Vollmann. Eggers has not only built an editorial model to support these efforts, but a business model as well. What’s more, in an era when too many in the media seem to want to give up on print altogether, McSweeney’s books, along with their magazines and other publications, are beautiful: elaborately designed, a pleasure to hold and look at, a three-dimensional reading experience in the best sense of the word.
Equally important is Eggers’ involvement in 826 National, which he co-founded in 2002. These eight urban non-profit centers – including two in Los Angeles – are dedicated to fostering literacy in kids 6-18, and work with students on everything from homework to college essays, while encouraging them to produce books and anthologies. More to the point, they offer a place to gather, helping to create communities in which literature is not just important but fun.
Through it all, Dave Eggers continues to function as an inspirational role model, producing his own books – his latest, “Zeitoun,” is a finalist for this year’s Current Interest Book Prize – and other projects, including the screenplay for last year’s film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
He is exactly the kind of person the Innovator’s Award is intended to honor: a forward thinker who is not afraid of print, but also not afraid to look ahead to the future, and who is drawing a new generation of writers and readers to the written word.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Evan S. Connell has been recognized by readers, critics and scholars as an American original, “our most subversive writer,” a compassionate contrarian, the author of “fiction in extremis,” and a “gloriously insidious philosopher of our true heritage.” His novels, short stories, essays and poems range across centuries and continents, focusing sometimes on the great events of history and other times on the secret moments of a private life, and often both at once, but always conjuring up what has been aptly called a kind of “dangerous magic.”
Whether his eye falls on the Crusades, or the battle of Little Big Horn, or the more intimate conflicts that characterize a marriage and a family, Connell brings to bear on all of his subjects a penetrating insight that, as one critic puts it, “flips the known world on its head.” Now living in Santa Fe, he has journeyed in prose and poetry from Kansas City, Missouri, the setting of Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge, perhaps his most celebrated works, to beaches of Carmel and all the way to Uttar Pradesh. In recognition of a distinguished body of work by a writer residing in or writing about the West, the Los Angeles Times presents Evan S. Connell with the 30th Robert Kirsch Award.

Biography

Winner
Linda Gordon / Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Current Interest

Winner
Dave Eggers / Zeitoun (McSweeney’s Books)
Runners Up

Dave Cullen / Columbine (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Tracy Kidder / The Strength in What Remains (Random House)
Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn / Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Knopf)

Fiction

Winner
Rafael Yglesias / A Happy Marriage (Scribner)
Runners Up

Jill Ciment / Heroic Measures (Pantheon)
Jane Gardam / The Man in the Wooden Hat (Europa Editions)
Michelle Huneven / Blame (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Kate Walbert / A Short History of Women (Scribner)

Graphic Novel

Winner
David Mazzucchelli / Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
Runners Up

Gilbert Hernandez / Luba (A Love and Rockets Book) (Fantagraphics Books)
Taiyo Matsumoto / GoGo Monster (VIZ Media)
Bryan Lee O’Malley / Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (Oni Press)
Joe Sacco / Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Co., LLC)

History

Winner
Kevin Starr / Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance 1950 – 1963 (Oxford University Press)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Stuart Neville / The Ghosts of Belfast (SOHO Press)
Runners Up

Megan Abbott / Bury Me Deep (Simon & Schuster)
David Ellis / The Hidden Man (Putnam)
Attica Locke / Black Water Rising (HarperCollins)
Val McDermid / A Darker Domain (HarperCollins)

Poetry

Winner
Brenda Hillman / Practical Water (Wesleyan University Press)
Runners Up

Gabrielle Calvocoressi / Apocalyptic Swing (Persea Books)
Amy Gerstler / Dearest Creature (Penguin Poets)
Tom Healy / What the Right Hand Knows (Four Way Books)
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon / }Open Interval{ (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Graham Farmelo / The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom (Basic Books/Perseus Book Group)
Runners Up

Marcia Bartusiak / The Day We Found the Universe (Pantheon)
Bill Streever / Cold: Adventures in the Worlds’ Frozen Places (Little, Brown & Company)
Richard Wrangham / Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human (Basic Books/Perseus Book Group)
Carol Kaesuk Yoon / Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science (W.W. Norton & Co)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Philipp Meyer / American Rust (Spiegel & Grau)
Runners Up

Petina Gappah / An Elegy for Easterly (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Paul Harding / Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press)
Daniyal Mueenuddin / In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Wells Tower / Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Elizabeth Partridge / Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary (Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Group)
Runners Up

James Cross Giblin / The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Frances Hardinge / The Lost Conspiracy (HarperCollins)
Deborah Heiligman / Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Shaun Tan / Tales from Outer Suburbia (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)

2008: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Robert Alter

Biography

Winner
Paula J. Giddings / Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching (Amistad/HarperCollins)

Current Interest

Winner
Barton Gellman / Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (Penguin Press)

Fiction

Winner
Marilynne Robinson / Home (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Sebastian Barry / The Secret Scripture (Viking)
Richard Price / Lush Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Joan Silber / The Size of the World (W. W. Norton)
Marisa Silver / The God of War (Simon & Schuster)

History

Winner
Mark Mazower / Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe (The Penguin Press)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Michael Koryta / Envy the Night (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur)
Runners Up

Colin Harrison / The Finder (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Simon Lewis / Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel (Scribner)
Nina Revoyr / The Age of Dreaming (Akashic Books)
Tom Rob Smith / Child 44 (Grand Central Publishing)

Poetry

Winner
Frank Bidart / Watching the Spring Festival: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Jorie Graham / Sea Change: Poems (Ecco)
Marie Howe / The Kingdom of Ordinary Time: Poems (W.W. Norton)
Cole Swensen / Ours (University of California Press)
Connie Voisine / Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream (University of Chicago Press)

Science & Technology

Runners Up

Avery Gilbert / What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life (Crown Publishing)
Martin J.S. Rudwick / Worlds Before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform (University of Chicago Press)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Zoë Ferraris / Finding Nouf (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Runners Up

Uwem Akpan / Say You’re One of Them (Little, Brown and Co.)
Sadie Jones / The Outcast (HarperCollins)
Roma Tearne / Mosquito (Europa Editions)
David Wroblewski / The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Ecco)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Terry Pratchett / Nation (HarperCollins)
Runners Up

Candace Fleming / The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary (Schwartz & Wade/Random House Children’s Books)
Neil Gaiman / The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins)
Oscar Hijuelos / Dark Dude (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
Nate Powell / Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf Productions)

2007: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners & Finalists

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Maxine Hong Kingston

Biography

Winner
Simon Sebag Montefiore / Young Stalin (Alfred A. Knopf)
Runners Up

Nancy Isenberg / Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (Viking)
Tim Jeal / Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press)
Robert Morgan / Boone: A Biography (A Shannon Ravenel Book/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
Michael J. Neufeld / Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War (Alfred A. Knopf)

Current Interest

Winner
Elizabeth D. Samet / Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Runners Up

Ishmael Beah / A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Tom Bissell / The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (Pantheon)
Ronald Brownstein / The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America (The Penguin Press)
Naomi Klein / The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)

Fiction

Winner
Andrew O’Hagan / Be Near Me (Harcourt)
Runners Up

Junot Díaz / The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books)
Stewart O’Nan / Last Night at the Lobster (Viking)
Per Petterson / Out Stealing Horses: A Novel (Graywolf Press)
Marianne Wiggins / The Shadow Catcher: A Novel (Simon & Schuster)

History

Winner
Tim Weiner / Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday)
Runners Up

David A Bell / The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (Houghton Mifflin)
Margaret Macmillan / Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World (Random House)
Andrew Nagorski / The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow that Changed the Course of World War II (Simon and Schuster)
Lynne Olson / Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Karin Fossum {Translated by Charlotte Barslund} / The Indian Bride (Harcourt)
Runners Up

Benjamin Black / Christine Falls: A Novel (Henry Holt and Company)
Åke Edwardson / Frozen Tracks: An Inspector Erik Winter Novel (Viking)
Tana French / In the Woods (Viking)
Jan Costin Wagner {Translated by John Brownjohn} / Ice Moon (Harcourt)

Poetry

Winner
Stanley Plumly / Old Heart: Poems (W.W. Norton)
Runners Up

Marvin Bell / Mars Being Red (Copper Canyon Press)
Elaine Equi / Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press)
Albert Goldbarth / The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 (Graywolf Press)
Jean Valentine / Little Boat (Wesleyan University Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Douglas Hofstadter / I Am A Strange Loop (Basic Books)
Runners Up

James L. and Carol Grant Gould / Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence (Basic Books)
Christine Kenneally / The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language (Viking)
Daniel Lord Smail / On Deep History and the Brain (University of California Press)
Gino Segrè / Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics (Viking)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Dinaw Mengestu / The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead Books)
Runners Up

Antonia Arslan {Translated by Geoffrey Brock} / Skylark Farm (Alfred A. Knopf)
Rebecca Curtis / Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money (Harper Perennial)
Pamela Erens / The Understory (Ironweed Press)
Ellen Litman / The Last Chicken in America: A Novel in Stories (W.W. Norton)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Philip Reeve / A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles) (Eos Books/HarperCollins)
Runners Up

Sherman Alexie / The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown Young Readers)
Geraldine McCaughrean / The White Darkness (HarperTeen)
Walter Dean Myers / What They Found: Love on 145th Street (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)
Kenneth Oppel / Darkwing (Eos Books/HarperCollins)