2021 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards Announced | Book Pulse

Jessica Goudeau, After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America, and William G. Thomas III,  A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War named winners of the 2021 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards. NAACP announces winners in the literary category, including Barack Obama, A Promised Land and Walter Mosley, The Awkward Black Man. Paris Review gets an new editor. Variety’s executive editor to pen nonfiction book on reality TV show The Apprentice. NYT interviews Sharon Stone, The Beauty of Living Twice. Plus, Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know, writes an essay for Time.

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Emily Dufton, Casey Parks, Jessica Goudeau, After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America (Viking) and William G. Thomas III,  A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War (Yale University Press) are named winners of the 2021 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards.

Claudio Saunt, Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory (Norton) and Andy Horowitz, Katrina: A History, 1915-2015 (Harvard University Press), win the Bancroft Prize. NYT has details.

The NAACP Image Awards are announced for the Literary Category.

Finalists are announced for 2021 Publishing Triangle Awards honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and trans literature published in 2020. Winners will be announced in May.

The Rona Jaffe Awards have been officially discontinued, LitHub reports. The Rona Jaffe Foundation website has more.

The Washington Post offers more on the Audie Awards.


The NYT reviews Francis Bacon: Revelations by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan (Knopf): “In a book of such ambition and scope, it is finally — and fittingly, for an artist so private about his work — the modesty of this claim, of what can be known, that is its most moving achievement.” Also, Eat the Mouth that Feeds You by Carribean Fragoza (City Lights): “an accomplished debut with language that has the potential to affect the reader on a visceral level, a rare and significant achievement from a forceful new voice in American literature.” Also, Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer (Dutton): “Zimmer is an astute, engaging writer — inserting the atmospheric anecdote where applicable, drawing out a scientific story and bringing laboratory experiments to life.”  Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis (FSG: Macmillan): “Through careful detail and deeply humanizing portraits of communities impacted by Amazon, MacGillis gives us a picture of contemporary America as mere survival under precarity — the simple need for shelter, food and a safe workplace.” And Transient Desires by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press): “Leon has a lot to say in this book about prejudices, many of which declare themselves through accents.”

NPR reviews Night Rooms by Gina Nutt (Two Dollar Radio: Ingram): “The same style that will strike some readers as jarring at the start eventually morphs into a unique approach to the delivery of thoughts, memories, and ideas that will stick with them for a long time after reading Night Rooms. Nutt has a knack for short, sharp lines that skip the brain and go straight to the heart.” Also, The Life of the Mind by Christine Smallwood (Hogarth): “about endings that dribble to a close, the inexorable erosion of dreams, the slow leak of youthful buoyancy. It's about being young-ish at a time in history when it feels like many things might be fading away, including the natural world.” Also Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein (Little, Brown Spark): “It's when there seems to be no rhyme or reason to human decisions — when different people see the same facts and reach wildly inconsistent and unreliable conclusions. Kahneman, Sibony and Sunstein find noise is a huge problem facing all sorts of organizations.”

NPR’s Art Where You’re At looks at Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York by Alexander Nemerov (Penguin): “In 1950 she was wowed by the ropes and squiggles of paint Pollock was wrestling onto unstretched canvas on the floor of his barn….She quit doing careful faux Picassos, and, Nemerov says, ‘she made a kind of art that hadn't been done before.’”

The Washington Post reviews The Performance by Claire Thomas (Riverhead: Penguin): “an insightful response to Beckett’s 60-year-old classic and a thoughtful reflection on what’s burying women in the modern age.” Also, Red Island House by Andrea Lee (Scribner: S. & S.): “a gorgeous narrative that perhaps only Lee could have constructed — an ambitious attempt to use fiction to explore the reality of a world fractured by race and class, and divided between the haves and the have-hardly-anything-at-alls.”

The L.A. Times reviews The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner (Atria): “a good opening shot for what figures to be a long race, one that is likely to get more interesting farther down the road.”

Briefly Noted

Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know (Catapult), writes an essay for Time entitled “My White Adoptive Parents Struggled to See Me as Korean. Would They Have Understood My Anger at the Rise in Anti-Asian Violence?

Entertainment Weekly Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talk about Hemingway in their new documentary series premiering April 5th on PBS. Also EW interviews Thomas Grattan about his book, The Recent East (MCD: Macmillan).

LitHub previews a new book of poetry and prose, Mutha: Stuff + Things by Vincent D’Onofrio (Cameron: Abrams).

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour has picks for book clubs.

Laura Maylene Walter, Body of Stars (Dutton: Penguin), talks to the dead in Lily Dale for LitHub.

Paris Review names Emily Stokes as its new editor.

Variety’s executive editor to pen a new nonfiction book on reality TV show, The Apprentice.

Shondaland talks with Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today (Harper) about the lost stories of 4 pioneering women.

ElectricLit talks with Ladee Hubbard, The Rib King (Amistad: HarperCollins; LJ Starred Review), about “Who Gets to Profit off Black Culture?”

NYT interviews Sharon Stone about her book, The Beauty of Living Twice (Knopf).

The Rumpus talks with Jeannine Ouellette about her debut memoir, The Part That Burns (Split/Lip Press).

Slate talks with Jen Spyra about working with Stephen Colbert and her new book Big Time (Random House).

Kirkus profiles Charles Blow, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto (Harper).

BookRiot has 8 Audiobook Recommendations for the Disability Readathon; Also, the Manga (and Comics) Cinnamon Roll Smackdown, Aspiring Women in Romance, and Books for Adulting.

CrimeReads has “March’s Best International Crime Fiction.”

The L.A. Times Festival of Books lineup is announced and will include Don Lemon, Douglas Stuart, Zooey Deschanel and over 100 additional authors in a virtual event that is set to span a month.

Authors on Air

Deadline reports that The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and War by Chick Donahue and J.T. Molloy is headed to Apple “with  Zac Efron and  Russell Crowe in talks to star and Bill Murray ... being courted for a supporting role.” The Walter Tevis novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth, is getting adapted again and is now set for ShowtimeHelen Mirren will star as the villain Hespera in DC Films’ Shazam: Fury of the GodsDisney moves several films with book ties, including Black Widow, Cruella, and Death of the Nile. Both Black Widow and Cruella will debut on Disney+ Premier Access at the same time they open in theaters.

Samantha Busch, Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage (Health Communications: S. & S.), is on Tamron Hall today.

Kelly Clarkson welcomes Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmic Queries: StarTalk's Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going (National Geographic: Hachette) today.

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