July 8, 2013 |
President Obama will award the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medals to a total of two dozen writers, performers, artists and scholars on Wednesday. Ernest Gaines, author of the books "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and the National Book Critics' Circle Award-winning "A Lesson Before Dying," which was an Oprah Book Club pick, is the only novelist to receive an Arts medal. Playwright Tony Kushner and stage director/writer/performer Elaine May are among the honorees, which include filmmaker George Lucas, opera singer Renee Fleming, and musician Herb Alpert.
April 19, 2013 |
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.
March 8, 2013 |
Here are six books (and book events) to which I'm especially looking forward: a preview of the writes of spring. April 2 "The Flamethrowers" by Rachel Kushner Scribner Rachel Kushner's first novel, "Telex From Cuba," was a sensation: Set in the years before the Cuban revolution, it was a national bestseller and a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. Her follow-up, "The Flamethrowers," operates in the space between creativity and politics, the saga of an artist who travels from Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s to become immersed in the white hot center of Italian radical politics.
February 20, 2013 |
This post has been updated; see below for details. The finalists for the 33rd L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced Thursday morning -- the complete list is below. In addition to the 50 books in 10 categories that are in the running for the awards, two authors -- Margaret Atwood and Kevin Starr -- will receive special recognition. For her efforts to push narrative form, Atwood will receive the Times' Innovator's Award. The vanguard feminist, dystopian visionary and award-winning novelist has, in her 70s, embraced new electronic forms of storytelling.
January 18, 2013 |
Lincoln's Grave Robbers Steve Sheinkin Scholastic Press: 224 pp., $16.99, ages 10 and up Steven Spielberg's movie "Lincoln" is not for every child, and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" is not even for every adult, but at a time when Abraham Lincoln's role in U.S. history is on the public mind again, there's a new book about the 16th president to capture children's gleefully ghoulish imagination. "Lincoln's Grave Robbers" by Steve Sheinkin is terrific. It's history in context and full of fun and thrills: money real and phony, bumbling criminals, a beloved president, and lawmen who go to all lengths to protect his body in its resting place.
November 22, 2012 |
The Round House A novel Louise Erdrich Harper: 336 pages, $27.99 Louise Erdrich's "The Round House" is a solid coming-of-age novel set on a fictional North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, the subject of much of her work. That this book - good, but not extraordinarily so - won the National Book Award on Nov. 14 illustrates just how idiosyncratic literary competitions can be. With its cover now adorned by the National Book Awards' gold medallion, "The Round House" will, presumably, find a wider audience than it would have before.
November 15, 2012 |
Novelist Louise Erdrich and journalist Katherine Boo took the top prizes at the National Book Awards in New York on Wednesday night. Although set half a world apart, both women's books express what Boo described as "small stories in so-called hidden places. " Erdrich won the fiction award for "The Round House," set among the Turtle Mountain Chippewa. The author of more than a dozen novels, Erdrich spoke in Ojibwe and English in her speech, citing "the grace and endurance of Native women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2012 |
Ellen Douglas, a Mississippi native whose novels were widely praised for their portrayal of the racially conflicted South, died Wednesday in Jackson, Miss., after an extended illness. She was 91. Her death was confirmed by Steve Holland, a funeral home director in Tupelo, Miss. Set in Mississippi, Douglas' writing dealt candidly with race relations, families and the role of women. She wrote 11 books, including six novels and several collections of short stories and essays. Her third novel, "Apostles of Light," was a 1973 National Book Award nominee.
October 16, 2012 |
Hilary Mantel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for the novel "Bring Up The Bodies," the second book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Mantel won the prize for the first book in the series, "Wolf Hall," in 2009. She is the first woman to be a two-time winner of the prize. "Well I don't know," Mantel said upon taking the stage. "You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize, and two come along at once. " The Man Booker Prize is Britain's most prestigious award for literary fiction. Each year, the prize is awarded at a gala event in London; the winner gets about $80,000.