Saturday, April 12, 2014

Top Prizes to Women

Most of the top prizes at the LA TImes Book Awards went to women this year (7 out of 12, including best novel, best graphic novel, and best "first fiction."

  •  J.K. Rowling (with pen name of Robert Galbraith) got best mystery/thriller. 
  • Susan Straight got the Robert Kirsch Award for all her novels about life in southern California--and a free copy of Between Heaven and Here was given to each person attending. 
  • Ruth Ozeki - best fiction-- a novel related to Japan's zsumani.
  • Marie Arana --best biography, Bolivar: American Liberator.
  • Sheri Fink -- best current interest book, Five Days at Memorial about a New Orleans hospital in Hurricane Katrina.
  • NoViolet Budawayo -- Art Seidenbaum Award for best first fiction.
  • Ulli Lust -- Best graphic novel, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life.

In 1996 I remember being disgusted when 8 out of 8 prizes went to men.  Frank McCourt, winner of the memoir prize for Angela's Ashes, even commented from the podium on the absence of women in the awards.

Small but measurable progress is being made in women reclaiming A Room of One's Own--as Virginia Woolf pointed out nearly one hundred years ago.

For somewhat blurry back-of-the-balcony photos of the awards evening, see:

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