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33rd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes to be presented tonight

April 19, 2013|By Hector Tobar
  • The LA Times book prizes are Friday night.
The LA Times book prizes are Friday night. (Carolyn Kellogg / Los Angeles…)

The 33rd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be presented in a public ceremony Friday night at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.

The awards are given in 10 categories, including biography, current interest, first fiction and adult literature. In addition, the winners of two prizes, announced in February, will be honored: the Canadian novelist and essayist Margaret Atwood, who will receive the 2012 Innovator’s Award for her efforts to push narrative form; and the California historian Kevin Starr, who will receive the 2012 Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

The 50 finalists in the 10 award categories include, for fiction, the Pulitzer-winning novelist Michael Chabon for his novel "Telegraph Avenue"; Ben Fountain, who won the National Book Critics Circle Award for “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk"; Jami Attenberg for "The Middlesteins"; Lauren Groff for "Arcadia"; and Lyydia Millet for "Magnificene."

The current interest nominees include Katherine Boo, who won the National Book Award for “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity”; Jim Sterba for “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds”; Steve Coll for "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power"; Karen Elliot House for "On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines -- and Future"; and Jake Tapper for "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor."

Awards will also be given in biography, graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, first fiction and young adult literature. The finalists in those categories include the statistician Nate Silver, Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro, former U.S. poet laureate Louise Glück, graphic novelist Chris Ware, historian Geoffrey Kabaservice, bestselling crime writer Tana French, television commentator Jake Tapper and debut novelist Maggie Shipstead.

Times book critic David Ullin will emcee the event. Tickets to the public ceremony can still be purchased online Friday for $10 each.

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