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Finalists for the 1992-1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes : HISTORY

September 05, 1993|MARJORIE LEWELLYN MARKS | Marjorie Lewellyn Marks is manager of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and a contributing author of "Life Guidance Through Literature" (American Library Assn.)

RISING IN THE WEST: The True Sory of an "Okie" Family From the Great Depression Through the Reagan Years by Dan Morgan (Alfred A. Knopf). Stylistically evoking fiction, this true story chronicles an Oklahoma farm family's westward migration and upward mobility in "Californy" of the 1930s. Despite the fact that Steinbeck's tale of the Joad family was the inspiration for this book by author and Washington Post reporter Morgan, the Tathams, unlike the Joads, do not become migrant farmers, and in this they challenge the "Okie" stereotype. As the family accumulates wealth and local prestige, they dismayingly become a self-righteous group devoted to ultra-conservative candidates, causes and politics, and political and religious fundamentalists whose children's lives are plagued by alcoholism, troubled marriages and terminal illness.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and winners are selected in each category by an independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced in the Book Review issue of October 31.

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