James McBride, Natasha Tretheway among winners of Anisfield-Wolf awards which honours writings on racism
McBride’s Deacon King Kong won for fiction and Trethewey’s memoir Memorial Drive was a co-winner for nonfiction, along with Vincent Brown’s Tacky’s Revolt.
Novelist James McBride, former US poet laureate Natasha Trethewey and science fiction great Samuel R Delaney are among this year’s winners of Anisfield-Wolf awards for books that confront racism and help promote diversity.
McBride’s Deacon King Kong won for fiction and Trethewey’s memoir Memorial Drive was a co-winner for nonfiction, along with Vincent Brown’s Tacky’s Revolt. Delaney, known for such influential novels as Babel-17 and Dahlgren, received a lifetime achievement prize. Victoria Chang’s Obit was honoured for the best work of poetry.
The winners were announced Monday.
“The new Anisfield-Wolf winners bring us fresh insights on race and the human condition,” jury chair Henry Louis Gates Jr said in a statement.
“This year, we honour a brilliant military history (Tacky’s Revolt), a breakout poetry collection that wrestles with mortality (Obit), a novel bursting with love and trouble centred around a Brooklyn church (Deacon King Kong), and a memoir by a daughter reclaiming her mother’s story (Memorial Drive). All of which is capped by the lifetime achievement of Samuel R Delaney, who has broadened our humanity and sharpened our minds through his groundbreaking science fiction.”
The Anisfield-Wolf awards were founded in 1935 and are managed by the nonprofit Cleveland Foundation. Previous winners include the Rev Martin Luther King, Toni Morrison and Wole Soyinka.
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