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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Richard Ford and Timothy Egan Win Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Last night, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, Richard Ford and Timothy Egan were awarded the second annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Ford’s Canada received the medal for fiction, and Egan’s Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis received the nonfiction prize.
The medals recognize the best books for adult readers published in the previous year in the United States and are cosponsored by Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of ALA. The awards are funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Ford sets his riveting Canada in motion with this striking opening sentence: “First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” It is a haunting tale of an improbable marriage; ludicrous, criminal, and doomed schemes to make money; exile in a harsh if beautiful land; and epic endurance. Told in the precise and searching voice of Dell Parsons, a man looking back on his fractured, harrowing youth in Great Falls, Montana, during the 1950s, Ford’s novel is a tour de force of psychological and social acuity.
In Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, Egan tells the astonishing story of photographer Edward Curtis and his quest to document the lives of the Native American peoples of the American West. Describing Curtis as “an Indiana Jones with a camera,” Egan vividly chronicles the tireless photographer’s 30-year effort, in the face of tremendous risk and sacrifice, to create The North American Indian, a stupendous and invaluable 20-volume set containing 2,200 original photographs and 4,000 pages of text.
In addition to the medals, Ford and Egan both received $5,000, and each finalist received $1,500. Fiction finalists were Junot Díaz’s This is How You Lose Her and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. Nonfiction finalists were Jill Lepore’s The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death and David Quammen’s Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction winners and finalists were selected based on the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. The members of the 2013 selection committee were: Nancy Pearl, Chair; Brad Hooper, editor, Adult Books, Booklist, Chicago; Danise Hoover, associate librarian, Public Services, Hunter College Library, New York; A. Issac Pulver, director, Saratoga Springs (NY) Public Library; Nonny Schlotzhauer, librarian, Collection Development/Social Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; Donna Seaman, senior editor, Adult Books, Booklist, Chicago; and Rebecca Vnuk, editor, Reference and Collection Management, Booklist, Chicago.
For more information on the winners, finalists, and the awards, please visit http://www.ala.org/carnegieadult.
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