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The American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation Book Awards

The American Book Awards, established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation, recognize outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors, without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre. The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge the excellence and multicultural diversity of American writing. The American Book Aw ards werecreated to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works.

2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 |2000

Houston A. Baker, Jr., Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Right Era (Columbia University Press)
Danit Brown, Ask for a Convertible (Pantheon)
Jericho Brown, Please (New Issues Poetry & Prose)
José Antonio Burciaga, The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga, edited by Mimi R. Gladstein and Daniel Chacón (University of Arizona Press)
Claire Hope Cummings, Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds (Beacon Press)
Stella Pope Duarte, If I Die in Juarez (The University of Arizona Press)
Linda Gregg, All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press)
Suheir Hammad, Breaking Poems (Cypher Books)
Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder (Pantheon Books)
George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself: The A.A.C.M. and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press)
Patricia Santana, Ghosts of El Grullo (University of New Mexico Press)
Jack Spicer, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, edited by Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian (Wesleyan University Press)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Miguel Algarin

How Does It Feel to Be a Problem Being Young and Arab in America (The Penguin Press) by Moustafa Bayoumi
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Doubleday) by Douglas A. Blackmon
Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 And 1804 (University of Washington Press) by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Richard Dauenhauer, and Lydia T. Black, and Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká
All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions Inc.) by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998 (HarperCollins) by Nikki Giovanni
Prairie Style (Dalkey Archive Press) by C.S. Giscombe
Where I Must Go: A Novel (TriQuarterly) by Angela Jackson
Each Month I Sing (Farolito Press) by L. Luis Lopez
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Tom Lutz
Steer Toward Rock (Hyperion) by Fae Myenne Ng
The Ocean in the Closet (Coffee House Press) by Yuko Taniguchi
Don't Deny My Name: Words and Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition (University of Michigan Press) by Lorenzo Thomas, Aldon Lynn Nielsen, editor
Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid (South End Press) by Frank B. Wilderson III
Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots (The New Press) by Jonathan Curiel
Lifetime Achievement Award:
J.J. Phillips, Author of Mojo Hand: An Orphic Tale

Winners of the Twenty-Eighth Annual American Book Award

Dec, 2008- Oakland, CA

American Award List A-Z | Childrens Award List A-Z | International Award List A-Z | International Award News | Amazonnav | home | top |

A Fine Crop of American Award Winners for 2007 Reflect the Nations Diversity

Michael Eric Dysons (right) , Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, the first major book about Katrina, one of the nations worst natural disasters, has won one of the ten American Book Awards for 2007. Dyson's volume not only chronicles what happened when, it also argues that the nation's failure to offer timely aid to Katrina's victims indicates deeper problems in race and class relations.

Dr. Dyson has been named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, and is the author of fourteen books, including the American Award winner. He is University Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches Theology, English and African American Studies.

Jeffrey Partridge, author of Beyond Literary Chinatown (American Ethnic and Cultural Studies is another of the a wonderfully eclectic bunch of winners of this years awards. The book was described by Shawn Wong, of the University of Washington as “...the first work to consider the importance of Asia and the global economy and the influence of an Asian diaspora on Chinese American literature .” This important contribution to the growing body of critical works on Asian American literature will be of interest to reception theorists and scholars of American ethnic studies andAmerican literature.

Reyna Grande a 2003 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, turns in a topical and heartbreaking border story for her debut, Across a Hundred Mountains: A NovelGrande's deft portraiture endows even the smallest characters with grace, as two stories cross and re-cross in unexpected ways, driving toward a powerful conclusion.

In a series of lively essays, Daniel Cassidy's, How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch), proves that US slang has its strongest wellsprings in nineteenth-century Irish America. "Jazz" and "poker," "sucker" and "scam" all derive from Irish. While demonstrating this, Daniel Cassidy simultaneously traces the hidden history of how Ireland fashioned America, not just linguistically, but through the Irish gambling underworld, urban street gangs, and the powerful political machines that grew out of them. Cassidy uncovers a secret national heritage, long discounted by our WASP-dominated culture.

Publishers Week had this to say about Patricia Klindienst's, The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic America (Beacon Press)

Though Klindienst imposes a strong philosophical structure on the narratives in this poetic collection, her political interpretations come second to the beauty and humor in what is essentially a set of portraits of both American gardens and gardeners. Woven into these stories are wide-ranging details of agricultural history: how to make blue corn piki bread, how the injustice of post-emancipation land sales affected one farmer, the fragrance of the sweet-sticky-pumpkin flower brought by refugees from Cambodia. Klindienst's writing shines when recounting her conversations with farmers, but her analysis of "hunger for community" and how a "garden can be a powerful expression of resistance" feels awkward.

Rigoberto Gonzalez (left), Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in Latinidad, written n the tradition of Richard Rodriguez, evokes a stirring memoir of a first-generation Mexican American's coming-of-age and coming out in a wrenching, angry, passionate, ironic, and always eloquent story about conflicts of family, class, and sexuality. A moving memoir of a young Chicano boy's maturing into a self-accepting gay adult is a beautifully executed portrait of the experience of being gay, Chicano and poor in the United States.

Ernestine Hayes, an assistant professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast and historian of her mother's Lingit tribe, was recognized for a Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir. 'This sometimes raw, consistently honest memoir is a rewarding,evocative, ultimately uplifting view of Native life' (Deborah Donavan -Booklist)

Gary Panter has won three Emmys for the wildly imaginative sets of Pee Wee's Playhouse, yet he's probably best known for his underground comics featuring punkster Jimbo. In Jimbo in Purgatory (2004), he sent his creation through a gigantic infotainment testing center resembling Dante's Mount Purgatory. The American Award winner, Jimbo's Inferno, continues the itinerary as Jimbo's Virgil, the robot Valise (who resembles a boxy riding mower), accompanies him through a vast shopping mall that contains a modern vision of hell. A Boschian art mixes both the grotesque and comic as we accompany the pair on their journey.

Patricia Monaghan describes Judith Roche' s,Wisdom of the Body beautifully inher April, 2007 Booklist Review.

In her luminous third collection, Roche's subject is the body as a cultural and spiritual as well as physical form. In the magnificent 'Credo,' she lists what sustains her: 'I believe in the cave paintings at Lascaux,/ The beauty of the clavicle,/ The journey of the salmon...I believe in the wisdom of the body.' That wisdom isn't without pain, and the book is haunted by the deaths that occur when 'Someone will come at the end/ and tell you a story so beautiful/ you will rise out of yourself/ and go into it,' as she almost did, she tells us in an autobiographical poem about nearly drowning. Yet the body's wisdom is expanded rather than limited by death, which enjoins us to more vivid life: 'The mouth knows the taste of its own tongue/ hungers for savor, makes meaning/ of sound, trying to name truth.' This is a powerful and courageous book, full of lyric intensity and crystal-sharp imagery. -

The final award winner for 2007 was Kali Vanbaale's, emotional and thought provoking The Space Between.

2007 American Book Award Winners

(Click on links to books for reviews on Amazon where available)

Daniel Cassidy, How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch) CounterPunch/AK Press_ For an excellent description of book from Counterpunch- Click Here

Michael Eric Dyson, (Basic Books)Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
- Mr. Dysons Home page Click here

Rigoberto Gonzalez, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in Latinidad)(University of Wisconsin Press) Mr. Gonzalez's Home page Click here

Reyna Grande, Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel
Reyna Grande Home page Click here

Ernestine Hayes, Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir (Sun Tracks)(Arizona Press) 'Ernestine Hayes faced discrimination and difficulty on long journey home to Juneau'

Patricia Klindienst, The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic America (Beacon Press) "In Their Words: Patricia Klindienst"

Gary Panter Jimbo's Inferno,(Fantagraphics Books)
Mr. Panters Home Page Click Here

Jeffrey F. L. Partridge, Beyond Literary Chinatown (American Ethnic and Cultural Studies(University of Washington Press)- Book description

Judith Roche,Wisdom of the Body (Black Heron Press)- Wiki Bio

Kali Vanbaale, The Space Between(River City Publishing)
Kali Vanbaale Home Page

2006 American Book Awards

MacKenzie Bezos, The Testing of Luther Albright : A Novel (Fourth Estate)-

Matt Briggs, Shoot the Buffalo (Clear Cut Press) -
David Diaz,
The White Tortilla (BookSurge)
Darryl Dickson-Carr,
The Columbia Guide to Contemporary African American Fiction (The Columbia Guides to Literature Since 1945) (Columbia University Press)
Thomas J. Ferraro,
Feeling Italian: The Art of Ethnicity in America (Nation of Newcomers) (New York University Press)

Tim Z. Hernandez, Skin Tax (Heyday Books)
Josh Kun,
Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (American Crossroads)(University of California Press)P. Lewis, Nate (Back House Books)
Peter Metcalfe, Gumboot Determination: The Story of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, (SEARHC Foundation)

Kevin J. Mullen,
The Toughest Gang in Town: Police Stories From Old San Francisco (Noir Publications)
Doris Seale and Beverly Slapin, editors,
A Broken Flute: The Native Experience

Previous Winners of American Book Awards 2000 to Present

American Award List A-Z | Childrens Award List A-Z | International Award List A-Z | International Award News | Amazonnav | home | top |


The Contemporary African American Novel: Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches, Bernard W. Bell
Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood, Cecelie Berry
Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Jeff Chang
Redemption, Julie Chibbaro
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, Richard A. Clarke
The Red Cedar of Afognak, A Driftwood Journey, Alisha S. Drabek and Karen R. Adams
The Horse in the Kitchen: Stories of a Mexican-American Family, Ralph M. Flores
Swimming in the American: A Memoir and Selected Writings, Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Crimes Against Nature, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Country of Origin, Don Lee
Long Movie of Shadows, Lamont B. Steptoe
No Lonesome Road: Selected Prose and Poems, Don West


Crescent, Diana Abu-Jaber

Enemy Aliens, David Cole
Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America, Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.

Breaking Away, Kristin Lattany
Multicultural American Literature: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/a, and Asian American Fictions, A. Robert Lee

What I Stole, Diane Sher Lutovich

All Over Creation, Ruth Ozeki
Prayer to Spider Woman / Rezo a la Mujer Araña, Renato Rosaldo
Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of The Sixties, Scott Saul

And All the Saints, Michael Walsh


Paradise Alley, Kevin Baker
Perma Red, Debra Magpie Earling
Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg
Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Literature from California, Rick Heide, editor
Akuzilleput Igaqullghet, Our Words Put to Paper Sourcebook in St. Lawrence Island Yupik Heritage and History, Igor Krupnik, Willis Walunga, and Vera Metcalf, editors; compiled by Igor Krupnik and Lars Krutak

This War Called Love: Nine Stories, Alejandro Murguía

The Full Rudy: The Man, the Myth, the Mania, Jack Newfield

Italian Stories, Joseph Papaleo
What Is This Thing Called Jazz?African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists, Eric Porter

Douglass’ Women, Jewell Parker Rhodes
Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey, Rachel Simon
Raising Ourselves: A Gwich'in Coming of Age Story from the Yukon River, Velma WallisEditor Award: Max Rodriguez, QBR: The Black Book Review (www.qbr.com)

American Award List A-Z | Childrens Award List A-Z | International Award List A-Z | International Award News | Amazonnav | home | top |


The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990 - 2000, Al Young
Reading the Funnies: Looking at Great Cartoonists Throughout The First Half of the Twentieth Century, Donald Phelps
Is There No Other Way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future, Michael N. Nagler

Lipstick and Other Stories, Alex Kuo

Shell Shaker, Lee Ann Howe

Interrogations at Noon, Dana Gioia

Homeless at Home, Gloria Frym

The Living Blood, Tananarive Due

Fire in Beulah, Rilla Askew

The Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir, Susanne Antonetta

Colcha, Aaron A. Abeyta

Lifetime Achievement: Lerone Bennett, Jr. - Jack Hirschman

Children's Literature: Jessel Miller Angels in the Vineyards


Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories; The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949, Amanda J. Cobb
Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation, Andrea Dworkin
When Living Was a Labor Camp, Diana García
Kissing the Bread: New and Selected Poems, 1969-1999, Sandra M. Gilbert
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Chalmers Johnson

Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories, Russell Charles Leong
The Island of Lost Luggage, Janet McAdams
Bruised Hibiscus, Elizabeth Nunez
Killing Time with Strangers, W.S. Penn
Packinghouse Daughter: A Memoir, Cheri Register
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware
Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire, Carolyne Wright
Editor/Publisher Award: Malcolm Margolin
Lifetime Achievement: Ted Joans; Tillie Olsen; Philip Whalen

From the Belly of My Beauty, Esther G. Belin
Sing When the Spirit Says Sing: Selected & New Poems 1960-1990, Jon Eckels
Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective, Emil Guillermo
Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, Elva Treviño Hart

It's Not Nostalgia: Poetry and Prose, Michael Lally
All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, Michael Patrick MacDonald

The Ice Wosrkers Sings and Other Poem, Andrés Montoya
Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, Kate Moses and Camille Peri, editors

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Janisse Ray
Italian American: The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity, David A.J. Richards
Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English, John Russell Rickford and Russell John Rickford

Why She Left Us, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto
The Trickster Shift: Humor and Irony in Contemporary Native Art, Allan J. Ryan

Year in Nam: A Native American Soldier's Story, Leroy TeCube
Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times, Helen Thomas

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