Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Jenny Zhang, Sour Heart, Lenny / Random House


Laura Dassow Walls,  Henry David Thoreau: A Life, University Of Chicago Press

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose Winner

Current Interest

Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, Viking


Mohsin Hamid, Exit West, Riverhead Books

Graphic Novel / Comics

Leslie Stein, Present, Drawn and Quarterly


Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, W. W. Norton & Company

Mystery / Thriller

Joyce Carol Oates, A Book of American Martyrs, Ecco


Patricia Smith, Incendiary Art: Poems, TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press

Science & Technology

Robert M. Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Penguin Press

Young Adult Literature

Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

2017 Robert Kirsch Award Winner

John Rechy
The 2017 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, which recognizes a writer whose work focuses on the American West, goes to John Rechy, a groundbreaking writer and admired teacher who is considered a pioneer of modern gay and Chicano literature.  SEE VIDEO HERE.

2017 Innovator’s Award Winner

The 2017 Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, will be awarded to Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, for her work honoring black women writers and creating a vital new space for literary discussion and engagement.  SEE VIDEO HERE.

2017 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose Winner

Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor: The Hue and Cry at Our House: A Year Remembered

​The winner of the 2017 Christopher Isherwood prize is Benjamin Taylor for “The Hue and Cry at Our House: A Year Remembered,” which explores the monumental preoccupations of adolescence: how to be a good son—and student, and brother, and boy. The judges describe Taylor’s memoir as “a clear-eyed history, a cultural reflection, an elegy for youth and time itself—accomplished with subtlety, humor, and grace."  SEE VIDEO HERE.

To view previous winners by award category click here.

2018 Ceremony Presenters

Emcee: Carolyn Kellogg

Biography: Scott Kraft 
Current Interest: Christina Bellantoni 
Fiction: Dana C. Johnson 
First Fiction: Alexander Chee 
Graphic Novel/Comics: Angie Wang 
History: Patt Morrison 
Innovator's Award: Carolyn Kellogg 
The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose: Dinah Lenney 
Robert Kirsch Award: Jonathan Kirsch 
Mystery/Thriller: Steph Cha 
Poetry: Cyrus Cassells 
Science & Technology: Laura J. Nelson 
Young Adult Literature: Candace Fleming

Book Prize Donations

Now part of the L.A. Times Foundation, the Book Prizes are dedicated to championing new voices and celebrating the highest quality of writing from authors at all stages of their careers. The prizes are committed to literary excellence, to intelligence and engagement, and to the support of working writers.

​The fair market value of a Book Prizes Ceremony + Reception ticket is $72.00. Any contribution made to the LA Times Foundation over and above this amount will be tax deductible. Your contribution will be used to support future recognized writers, judges and the Book Prizes program continuing the Book Prizes’ mission of the last 38 years. The LA Times Foundation is a public charity. 202 W. 1st Street Los Angeles, CA 90012.


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