Nine Southern California writers were honored by their colleagues Friday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel as the Los Angeles Center of PEN, an international association of writers and editors, presented awards for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's literature. In addition, two writers who had been imprisoned by the Cuban and Philippine governments received awards.
Norman Corwin, whose most recent work--"Trivializing America"--is about the cheapening of American culture, received the Body of Work award recognizing his long career, which has included journalism, radio, theater and television as well as books.
John Sanford received the nonfiction award for his "The Color of the Air: Scenes From the Life of an American Jew." It was the first award ever for the 81-year-old Sanford, who has been writing for 50 years and was once hailed by a critic as "the greatest living prose stylist."
A special achievement award in nonfiction also went to Lawrence Grobell for "Conversations With Capote," a book about the late novelist Truman Capote.