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79th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winners Are Announced, Ceremony Hold On September 11th

79th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards79th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winners are announced. The Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony begins on Thursday, September 11 at at 6 p.m., in the Ohio Theater, 1511 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. This year, the gala awards ceremony, hosted by the Cleveland Foundation and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Cleveland Foundation announced the winners of its 79th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2014 recipients of the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity are:

79th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Winners-

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award In Fiction
Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra – “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena”

Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital PhenomenaA Constellation of Vital Phenomena is an intoxicating first book about intersecting lives in war-torn Chechnya. The novel begins as Russian officers burn down a Muslim home and “disappear” the father Dokka but can’t find his daughter Haava. A neighbor hides the 8-year-old girl in a barely-functioning hospital. Novelist Anthony Marra sets this story over five taut days, as the child is hunted and the adults around her try to navigate radically different circumstances. Marra teaches at Stanford University.

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award In Poetry
Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka – “The Big Smoke”

“The Big Smoke” is a nuanced, polyphonic book that explores the life of boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion. A fan of the sport, Adrian Matejka (Ma TEA ka) was moved by this son of emancipated slaves – born in Texas just 13 years after the end of the Civil War – who loved Shakespeare, Verdi’s operas, travel abroad and a series of white women. The Big Smoke follows Johnson until 1912 in 52 poems. Matejka spent eight years researching and writing this book. He teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award In Non-Fiction
Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit – “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel”

Ari Shavit, a columnist for Jerusalem’s daily newspaper Haaretz, spent five years writing My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel in English and Hebrew simultaneously. A former Israeli paratrooper, peace advocate and great-grandson of Victorian-era Zionists, Shavit carefully examines a fraught and difficult history, interweaving family memoir, multiple documents and hundreds of interviews with Arabs and Jews. This important, clarifying book asks why Israel was created, what it has achieved, what went wrong and if it can survive.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sir Wilson Harris Sir Wilson Harris is a Guyanese writer who lives outside London. He began his professional career 70 years ago as a government surveyor of the vast interior of Guyana, an experience that informs all 25 of his novels, the first of which, Palace of the Peacock, was approved for publication by T.S. Eliot.
Lifetime Achievement Award
George Lamming George Lamming, who spent decades as a leader of the Caribbean literary Diaspora, writes deeply political books that critique colonialism and neo-colonialism. His first novel, In the Castle of My Skin, drew accolades from Jean-Paul Sartre and Richard Wright. Lamming lives in Barbados.

The Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that make important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. For 79 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds.
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