LOS ANGELES – (BUSINESS WIRE) – The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes steps into new territory as it enters its third decade, adding a new Innovator’s Award and a first-of-its-kind graphic novel category to the honors that will be presented April 23rd at an exclusive ceremony at The Times’ Chandler Auditorium. The event is the prologue to the 15th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the nation’s premier public literary festival, April 24-25 at UCLA.
The Book Prizes recognize 50 distinguished works in ten categories and the list of finalists in biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), graphic novel, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult literature can be found at http://events.latimes.com/bookprizes/. The addition of the graphic novel category makes The Times the first major book prize in the United States to honor an art form that has indelibly expanded the literary landscape, both aesthetically and commercially.
The Innovator’s Award was created to recognize cutting-edge work, specifically endeavors that bring storytelling into the future via new business models, technology or applications of narrative art. The inaugural winner is writer and publishing impresario Dave Eggers, author of six books, including “What Is the What,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the bestselling Pulitzer Prize finalist “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Current Interest finalist “Zeitoun.” He also wrote the screenplay for “Where the Wild Things Are” and is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house that produces a wide range of books and a quarterly journal, as well as “The Believer,” a monthly magazine, and “Wholphin,” a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries. In 2002, he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for inner-city youth in San Francisco’s Mission District. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Ann Arbor, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Evan S. Connell is the recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. Over his more than 50-year career, Connell has written fiction, essays, biography and even two book-length poems. His novels “Mrs. Bridge” and “Mr. Bridge” remain among the most insightful portraits of 20th century middle-American suburban life ever written, and his biography of General George Armstrong Custer, “Son of the Morning Star,” re-imagines the story of the Old West as a complicated tragedy marked by narcissism and genocide. He has won numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History, the Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980. Finalists and winners are selected by panels of three judges composed of published authors who specialize in each genre. Further information about the Book Prizes including past winners posted at http://events.latimes.com/bookprizes/previous-winners/year-2009.
About the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. Between 130,000 and 140,000 people attend the event annually.
General event information is available online at latimesfestivalofbooks.com or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK. Detailed speaker and event information will be provided in the official festival program, which will be published in the April 18th edition of the Los Angeles Times.