Friday, April 04, 2008

Northern California Book Awards

Interior of San Francisco Public Library

There are so many book-related awards that it’s hard to know which ones to trumpet and which ones to ignore. Since this blog deals in part with the Bay Area literary scene, I try and mention prizes and contests that concern local authors.

It’s April, award season. The Pulitzer Prizes will be announced on Monday, always an exciting day in the publishing and journalism worlds.

The book critics of the Northern California will be handing out their annual awards on April 13 at 1 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library. This event honors Northern California writers, so it is an interesting snapshot of the talent that surrounds us. The awards are sponsored by many of the Bay Area institutions that form the backbone of the literary community, including The Mechanic’s Institute, Poetry Flash magazine, PEN West, the San Francisco Public Library and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Here are the nominees:


* Sacred Games, by Vikram Chandra, HarperCollins

* The Great Far Away, by Joan Frank, The Permanent Press

* A Handbook to Luck, by Cristina Garcia, Alfred A.


* A Far Country, by Daniel Mason, Alfred A. Knopf

* Locke 1928, by Shawna Yang Ryan, El Leon Literary Arts


* The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance, Fritjof

Capra, Doubleday

* Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline, Lisa Margonelli, Nan A.


* Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately

Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution, Thomas McNamee, The Penguin Press

* Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life, Robert

B. Reich, Alfred A. Knopf

* Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race, Richard Rhodes, Alfred A.



* Ticket to Exile, a memoir, Adam David Miller, Heyday Books

* Back on the Fire: Essays, Gary Snyder, Shoemaker & Hoard

* Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for

Politics, Rebecca Solnit, University of

California Press

* Poor People, William T. Vollmann, Ecco

* The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific, Julia Whitty,

Houghton Mifflin


* Frail-Craft, Jessica Fisher, Yale University Press

* Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005, Robert Hass, Ecco

* Expectation Days, Sandra McPherson, University of Illinois Press

* The Second Person, C. Dale Young, Four Way Books

* Embryoyo, Dean Young, Believer Books/McSweeney's


* Translation by Robert Alter, The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary, by

Robert Alter, from Hebrew, W.W. Norton

* Translation by Alison Anderson, The Palestinian Lover by Sélim Nassib, from French,

Europa Editions

* Translation by John Balcom, Driftwood by Lo Fu, from Chinese, Zephyr Press

* Translation by Carol Cosman, Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus, from French,


* Translation by Anne Fountain, Closed for Repairs by Nancy Alonso, from Spanish,

Curbstone Press


* Penguins, Penguins Everywhere!, Bob Barner, Chronicle Books

* The Apple Doll, Elisa Kleven, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

* Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra, Wendy Lichtman, Greenwillow Books

* The Hound of Rowan: Book One of The Tapestry, Henry H. Neff, Random House

* Why War Is Never a Good Idea, Alice Walker, illustrated by Stefano Vitale, HarperCollins

Local critics read the books, discuss their merits and pick the winners. All of the nominated books will be saluted at the ceremony, but only six authors will walk away with the honors.

In addition, a SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD will go to River of Words, the Annual Environmental Poetry & Art Contest Conducted in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book

Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement to be presented to Al Young

This year's Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement will be presented to Al Young. Poet-novelist-essayist Al Young has authored two recent collections of poetry

- Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons: Poems

2001-2006 (Angel City Press, 2006) and Something About the Blues (Sourcebooks Media Fusion, 2008).

To Go:

The 27th annual Northern California Book Awards takes place on Sunday, April 13, 2008, 1:00-2:30 pm at the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library's Main Branch, 100 Larkin Street in San Francisco.

A book signing and reception with the authors follows the Awards Ceremony in the Latino/Hispanic Room from 2:30-4:00 pm. Nominated books will be on sale at the Book Bay, San Francisco Main Public Library.

No comments: