2019 American Book Award Winners Announced

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BEFORE COLUMBUS FOUNDATION
The Raymond House • 655 -13th Street • Suite 302 • Oakland, California 94612
www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com

August 19, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Justin Desmangles, 916-425-7916

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the

Winners of the Fortieth Annual

AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS

Ceremonies, November 1, 2019, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Oakland, CA—The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Fortieth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. The 2019 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA. This event is open to the public.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.

The 2019 American Book Award Winners are:

Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung (editors)

John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy

(University of Washington Press)

May-lee Chai

Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories

(Blair)

(continued)

Louise DeSalvo

The House of Early Sorrows: A Memoir in Essays

(Fordham University Press)

Heid E. Erdrich (editor)

New Poets of Native Nations

(Graywolf Press)

Ángel García

Teeth Never Sleep: Poems

(University of Arkansas Press)

Tommy Orange

There There: A Novel

(Knopf)

Halifu Osumare

Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir

(University Press of Florida)

Christopher Patton

Unlikeness Is Us: Fourteen from the Exeter Book

(Gaspereau Press)

Mark Sarvas

Memento Park: A Novel

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Jeffrey C. Stewart

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

(Oxford University Press)

William T. Vollmann

Carbon Ideologies: Volume I, No Immediate Danger, Volume II, No Good Alternative

(Viking)

G. Willow Wilson (author), Nico Leon (illustrator)

Ms. Marvel Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland

(Marvel)

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Nathan Hare

Editor/Publisher Award:

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

Oral Literature Award:

Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa)

Tommy Orange’s American Book Award Coverage

Author Tommy Orange’s There There has received the 2019 American Book Award. See coverage of this and other awardees from Associated Press, Washington Post, and KQED:

https://www.apnews.com/ca1b3051d41045c4bb7938fc6de3a638?fbclid=IwAR34i4MpIeZ-gQ5bgbdqQw1R1LNpUjTjsaLCEw5daya6FxQU4r9OqKV-vSU

"The educator and psychologist Nathan Hare was given a lifetime achievement award. His books include 'The Black Anglo-Saxons' and 'The Endangered Black Family'."

Posted by Before Columbus Foundation on Monday, August 19, 2019

Joy Harjo’s New Poetry Collection “An American Sunrise” Covered by Smithsonian

Smithsonian Magazine has released a biographical article about Joy Harjo to celebrate the Library of Congress naming her as an American Poet Laureate. Harjo’s Crazy Brave received the American Book Award in 2013.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/joy-harjos-new-poetry-collection-brings-native-issues-forefront-180972889/?fbclid=IwAR2Tm-dGleNqm-1GNwCY5puzo8bGlfgHgR_HJbOwA1sXQ9EVVvJuz1o9A8M#yeSdf12OXF2qUYo4.01

Joy Harjo Named American Poet Laureate

The Library of Congress has given Joy Harjo the title of Poet Laureate. She is the first Native American author to be awarded the position. Harjo’s Crazy Brave received the American Book Award in 2013.

The New York Times profiles the poet:

NPR Interviews Joy Harjo:

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/21/734665274/meet-joy-harjo-the-first-native-american-u-s-poet-laureate

Jeff Chang Discusses Cultural Change with Race Forward Podcast

Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation received the American Book Award in 2005. Listen to social change agent and RaceForward Vice President Jeff Chang on challenging mainstream narratives through culture, critique and satire. Stream the podcast via Grantmakers in the Arts : https://buff.ly/2KfeF7K, Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/2GIkcTg, or Apple: https://apple.co/336SkBN.

Joy Harjo Interviewed by Ms. Magazine

Joy Harjo has recently been named Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress. She is the first Native American poet to receive the award. Harjo’s Crazy Brave received the American Book Award in 2013. See a biography and interview in Ms. Magazine:

Laila Lalami’s “The Other Americans” Featured in Los Angeles Book Club

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. The LA Times covers her participation in the Los Angeles Book Club discussing her latest novel, The Other Americans:

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2019-07-31/laila-lalami-other-americans-book-club-immigration-20190731?fbclid=IwAR3MtP9qfeflHcNRY2XZTf7w_xKED9ygR-P57EEamHVACxKNevzyisuz6go

The Nation reviews Ishmael Reed’s Play

Reed’s play The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda examines Broadway hit Hamilton‘s misrepresentations of history. From The Nation:

https://www.thenation.com/article/ishmael-reed-haunting-of-lin-manuel-miranda-hamilton-play-review/?fbclid=IwAR1hEi_uhYrk3NgUzAq_IwdYpYFbG5BupwrVw_Tgk-NrFdYFYYqfhMrqsZw

The Knockturnal reviews Ishmael Reed’s latest play

Ishmael Reed’s play “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” premiered at the Nuyorican Poets Café this past Thursday evening. The play aims to provide a historical counterpoint to ‘Hamilton,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway success. Read the review linked below:

https://theknockturnal.com/the-haunting-of-lin-manuel-miranda-review/?fbclid=IwAR3RLJ4n4cctE_PkKPerx0KxNU3v4zl5apt82xEeb-oI1jf4s33kg9GT3Cw

Laila Lalami discusses new novel “The Other Americans”

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. She sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors. Via The Nation’s podcast, Start Making Sense: