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Book Awards by Year
Book Awards by Years Awarded
Juan Gonzalez on America's role in Latin America
Adam Hochschild on how World War I began
Manning Marable, 1950 - 2011, dies days before publication of his biography of Malcolm X
Edward Herman and David Peterson on Julian Assange and Luis Posada Carriles
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
American scholar Chalmers Johnson, 1931 - 2010
Susan Reverby has won the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award for Examining Tuskegee
Fractal Mathmematician Benoit B. Mandelbrot, 1924 – 2010
Mohammed Arkoun, Islamic scholar who explored Enlightenment ideals, 1928-2010
Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wins Nobel Prize
Tariq Ali on "The Obama Syndrome"
Historian and public intellectual Tony Judt, 1948 - 2010
Former U.S. Senator James Abourezk on Leaders in Hiding
David Kirby on something else we feed chickens
Andrew J. Bacevich on How to Dismantle the American Empire
Stacy Malkan on Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
Joy Gordon on the Invisble War, the United States and Iraq Sanctions
Tom Engelhardt on the American Way of War
Writer, critic and activist Carlos Monsiváis, 1938 - 2010
He is totally unreproducible — he was sui generis — Martin Gardner, 1914 - 2010
Joe Meadors: I seem to have all the bad luck in the world when it comes to the Israelis.
Historian Bruce Cumings on the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula
How the hell did it happen? - Daniel Okrent on how Prohibition democratized drinking and made the income tax possible
"We have more than an oil slick out of control, we also have these big corporations out of control." - Marine toxicologist Rikki Ott on the BP and Exxon Valdez oil spills.
"This is too important. We cannot leave this to governments": Cormac Cullinan on the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights
Anarchist, poet, publisher and chess-player, John Rety, 1930 - 2010
"Literature was another victim of the war": Miguel Delibes, 1920 - 2010
The beautiful brain of Sherman Alexie: War Dances wins 2010 Pen/Faulkner Award
It's terrible to be possessed by brittle things: Elena Fanailova's The Russian Version wins the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry
Translator, critic and BBC script editor, Barbara Bray, 1924 - 2010
Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award to D. A. Powell
The banks have had nine months to creatively increase the real cost of borrowing: Robert Manning on Credit Card Nation
Robert McChesney and John Nichols the history and necessity of government subsides for US journalism
Of course, I’d forgotten she’d died: An extract from A Scattering by Christopher Reid, the 2009 Costa Book of the Year
Tributes to People's Historian Howard Zinn, 1922 - 2010
Johann Hari on P. W. Singer's Wired For War
Jamin Raskin on the Supreme Court campaign finance ruling which removes limits on corporate campaign spending
"Haitians have been punished ever since for claiming their freedom", Tracy Kidder and Peter Hallward on Haiti
At 42, she was one of the best poets of her generation, Rachel Wetzsteon, 1967 - 2009
You have to decide which side you are on: there is always a side. Commitment does not exist in an abstraction; it exists in action: Dennis Brutus, 1924 - 2009
The wedding guests look upon the cracked, pink lips of Rosie's bridegroom - an extract from Petina Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly, the 2009 Guardian First Book Award winning book
David Cortright on Obama's shallow understanding of the priciples of Just War Theory
Obama's rejection of Landmine Treaty lacks vision, compassion, and basic common sense
Those who saw him hushed: Let the Great World Spin, the National Book Award winner by Colum McCann
Robert Jensen: Of Turkeys and Holocausts
Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1908 - 2009, his works as a practical anti-racist manifesto
Power exercised by man over his fellow man is always a usurpation, Francisco Ayala, 1906 - 2009
If you think you'll to be rich someday, why resent million-dollar bonuses: Barbara Ehrenreich on Positive Thinking
Four Canadians tortured in the name of fighting Terror, Kerry Pither wins Ottawa Book Award for Dark Days
The Potato that Became a Tomato, Playgiarist Raymond Federman, 1928 - 2009
The beautiful brain of
has won the 2010
for fiction for his book of short stories, essays and poems,
. He is the first Native American author to win the prestigious prize.
Are Indians pressured by the marketplace to write certain kinds of stories?
It's the corn-pollen, four directions, eagle-feathers school of Native literature. People are more interested in our spirituality than anything else. Certainly, I've never received that kind of pressure because I never wrote that kind of stuff, but there are a lot of people out there selling their spirituality.
What expectations do you encounter from readers?
It's so funny -- because I'm a public Indian figure, people assume I have all these magical Indian powers, like I'm some sort of healer or shaman. That also extends to just being a writer in general -- I think people assume that just because somebody's good with metaphors, he's a better human being. It's not true. I'm just better with metaphors than 99 percent of the population, and that doesn't make me magical, it just makes me fairly smart.
In your experience, do white Americans have a different sense of history -- both of events, and the significance of those events in contemporary culture -- than American Indians?
White Americans have a short memory. This country really hasn't entered puberty yet -- white Americans' political thoughts are really young, and the culture is really young. The one general statement you can make about America is it's young, and wildly immature, and incredibly talented. Like some twelve-year-old kid who really pisses you off, because he's really good at everything and he knows it. What can be done to bring the U.S. from this immature point to maturity?
I don't know. I'm one of those people who thinks that the world is getting better and better. I wouldn't want to be an Indian a hundred years ago -- somebody would be shooting at me. I wouldn't want to be a woman forty years ago, and I wouldn't want to be a black person twenty-five years ago. I think the world is getting better, and it's getting better because of liberal social policies. I don't think there has ever been a conservative social policy that helped anybody, except those who enacted it. I don't believe in any -ism particularly, I believe in fighting conservatism. Conservatives didn't want women to vote, didn't want Indians to become citizens.
- an excerpt from an
interview with Jessica Chapel.
WORLD PHONE CONVERSATION, 3 A.M.
After I got home with yogurt and turkey dogs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and my brother-in-law left, I watched George Romero’s “Diary of the Dead,” and laughed at myself for choosing a movie that featured dozens of zombies getting shot in the head. When the movie was over, I called my wife, nine hours ahead in Italy. “I should come home,” she said. “No, I’m O.K.,” I said. “Come on, you’re in Rome. What are you seeing today?” “The Vatican.” “You can’t leave now. You have to go and steal something. It will be revenge for every Indian. Or maybe you can plant an eagle feather and claim that you just discovered Italy.” “I’m worried.” “Yeah, Catholicism has always worried me.” “Stop being funny. I should see if I can get Mom and me on a flight tonight.” “No, no, listen, your mom is old. This might be her last adventure. It might be your last adventure with her. Stay there. Say hi to the Pope for me. Tell him I like his shoes.” That night, my sons climbed into bed with me. We all slept curled around one another like sled dogs in a snowstorm. I woke, hour by hour, and touched my head and neck to see if they had changed shape—to feel if antennae were growing. Some insects hear with their antennae. Maybe that was what was happening to me.
EXIT INTERVIEW FOR MY FATHER
· Did you, when drunk, ever get behind the tattered wheel of a ’76 Ford three-speed van and somehow drive your family a thousand miles on an empty tank of gas? · Is it true that the only literary term that has any real meaning in the Native American world is “road movie”? · How many times, during any of your road trips, did your children ask you, “Are we there yet?” · In twenty-five words or less, please define “there.” · Sir, in your thirty-nine years as a parent you broke your children’s hearts, collectively and individually, six hundred and twelve times, and you did this without ever striking any human being in anger. Does this absence of physical violence make you a better man than you might otherwise have been? · Without using the words “man” or “good,” can you please define what it means to be a good man? · Do you think you will see angels before you die? Do you think angels will come to escort you to Heaven? As the angels are carrying you to Heaven, how many times will you ask, “Are we there yet?”
After she returned from Italy, my wife climbed into bed with me. I felt as if I hadn’t slept comfortably in years. I said, “There was a rumor that I’d grown a tumor, but I killed it with humor.” “How long have you been waiting to tell me that one?” she asked. “Oh, probably since the first time some doctor put his fingers in my brain.” We made love. We fell asleep. But, agitated by the steroids, I woke at 2, 3, 4, and 5 A.M. The bed was killing my back, so I lay flat on the floor. I wasn’t going to die anytime soon, at least not because of my little friend Tumor, but that didn’t make me feel any more comfortable or comforted. I felt distant from the world—from my wife and my sons, from my mother and my siblings, from all my friends. I felt closest to those who’d always had fingers in their brains. I didn’t feel any closer to the world six months later, when another MRI revealed that my meningioma had not grown in size or changed its shape. “You’re looking good,” my doctor said. “How’s your hearing?” “I think I’ve got about ninety per cent of it back.” “Well, then, the steroids worked. Good.” And I didn’t feel any more intimate with the world nine months after that, when one more MRI made my doctor hypothesize that my meningioma might only be more scar tissue from the hydrocephalus. “Frankly,” he said, “your brain is beautiful.” “Thank you,” I said, though it was the oddest compliment I’d ever received. I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful. But I couldn’t tell him anything. He was dead. I told my wife and my sons that I was O.K. I told my mother and my siblings. I told my friends. But none of them laughed as hard about my beautiful brain as I knew my father—the drunk bastard—would have.
- three snippets from
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Flight: A Novel
The Toughest Indian in the World
Conversations with Sherman Alexie
Nancy J. Peterson