Monday, January 10, 2011

Award-winning historical novels at ALA Midwinter

A number of literary awards were announced at the American Library Association's Midwinter meeting in San Diego this past weekend.  Those of special interest to historical fiction readers include:

The 2011 Reading List Awards, which recognize the best books in eight genres.

- For Historical Fiction:  Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge, about a Hungarian Jewish family in WWII Europe.
- On the Historical Fiction shortlist:  S. Thomas Russell's A Battle Won, Lauren Belfer's A Fierce Radiance, Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean, and Sally Gunning's The Rebellion of Jane Clarke [read my review]
- For Fantasy:  Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven, set in an alternate 8th-century Tang Dynasty China.  [read my interview]
- For Romance:  Mary Balogh's A Matter of Class, a witty Regency romance.

The 2011 Newbery Medal and Honor books, for distinguished contributions to American children's literature.

- The Newbery Medal winner: Clare Vanderpool's Moon Over Manifest, set in Depression-era Kansas.
- The Newbery Honor books included three historicals:  Jennifer L. Holm's Turtle in Paradise, Margi Preus's Heart of a Samurai, and Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer.

    The Black Caucus of the ALA Literary Awards:

    - Literary Award in Fiction: Bernice L. McFadden's Glorious, about a woman from Georgia who becomes a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.  [Started this last night!]
    - Literary Award, First Novelist:  Dolen Perkins-Valdez's Wench, about four slave women and their white masters at a resort in 1850s Ohio.

      ALA Notable Books, important titles of literary merit for the adult reader.

      - Among the 25 winners named:  Rick Bass's Nashville Chrome; Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn; David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Tatjana Soli's The Lotus Eaters.


        1. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your blog, and the way you make it easy to keep tabs on noteworthy new books.

        2. Thank you so much for the update.

        3. Thanks so much for posting this!

        4. You're very welcome, Bernice, and congratulations! It's a wonderful book.

          Thanks for your comments, Rosslyn and Mystica, I appreciate it!

        5. Oh good! I really enjoyed Under Heaven.