FRI/4/16 :: 5:00p
Book Prizes Ceremony - 2020 Honorees

Celebrate today's most notable authors at L.A.’s preeminent literary awards show honoring the best books of 2020! The Book Prizes recognize 56 remarkable works in 12 categories: autobiographical prose (the Christopher Isherwood Prize), biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science fiction (the Ray Bradbury Prize), science and technology, and young adult literature. Judging panels of writers who specialize in each genre select finalists and winners.


Boris Kachka

Kachka is the books editor for the L.A. Times. Prior to the Times, he was books editor at New York magazine. During his time there, he was an early stalwart of the magazine’s inventive “Culture” section; reported features on authors including Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, and Harper Lee; and investigated turmoil at various cultural and media institutions, including the New York Times, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and WNYC. Kachka is also the author of several books, including “Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux” and “Becoming a Veterinarian.”

Book Prize Judges

Nominations for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes do not begin with authors or publishers proposing their own work. Responsibility for nominating books for consideration and for naming both the finalists and the ultimate winners in the categories rests solely with judging panels. Not all of these judges are, in any given year, from Los Angeles, or even from California. Most, but not all, are published writers. None is ever a current Times employee. Judges are appointed, typically, for a term of two years. Terms are usually staggered so that on each panel either one or two judges are replaced every year.
Judges and presenters included in this program tonight:
  • Melissa Chadburn: Judge, First Fiction
  • Tom Nolan: Judge, Biography
  • Natalia Molina: Judge, History
  • Diana Wagman: Judge, Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographic Prose
  • Oline Cogdill: Judge, Mystery/Thriller
  • Maxine Hong Kingston: Poet, Memoirist, & Fiction Writer, accepting the Robert Kirsch Award on behalf of Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Angie Wang: Judge, Graphic Novel / Comics
  • Hannah Gomez: Judge, Young Adult Literature
  • Cyrus Cassells: Judge, Poetry
  • Tananarive Due: Judge, The Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
  • Jenny McPhee: Judge, Fiction
  • Celeste Fremon: Judge, Current Interest