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Indiana Authors Awards – 2014 Winners & Finalists Announced

July 17, 2014 by Reader's Connection

The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards will be presented on Saturday, October 25th. The winners of the National and Regional Author Awards, and the Finalists for the Emerging Author Awards, were announced this week.

Click on the authors’ names to see more of their titles, or their titles in other formats.

Winner–National Author Award: Michael Shelden


Mark Twain: Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final Years

Mark Twain: Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final YearsOf Mark Twain in his final years, William Dean Howells remarks, “His literature grew less and less and his life more and more.” In Twain’s remarkable late-life surge in vitality, Sheldon discerns the surprising origin of the author’s iconic image. Challenging the widespread belief that Twain dwindled into impotent despair, Sheldon chronicles his last years as the triumph of an exuberant showman. This, after all, is the man who unexpectedly appears for a Congressional hearing clad in a stunning white suit and who never thereafter abandons his new sartorial luster. This, too, is the comic genius who in his seventies still sparkles with irreverent wit. Though it flashes through a few final published works (including a spoof on the afterlife and an iconoclastic swipe at Shakespeare), Twain’s septuagenarian wit mostly serves to punctuate an amazing range of nonliterary enterprises: building a new family mansion, waging legal battles to secure his legacy, underwriting a theater for impoverished children, claiming an honorary degree from Oxford. Yet, as Shelden recognizes, that wit ultimately reflects personal resilience in the face of financial reverses and family tragedy. Even on his deathbed, Twain rallies to bid farewell with wisecracks. Impressive scholarship delivers the authentic accents of a truly American voice — Booklist


Winner–Regional Author Award: Norbert Krapf

Somewhere in Southern Indiana: Poems of Midwestern OriginsMr. Krapf gave me permission last year to use two poems from his 1993 collection Somewhere in Southern Indiana: Poems of Midwestern Origins.

Here’s a link to those. Neither was from the section of the book called “The Woods of Southern Indiana,” so now I’ve asked for & received his permission to reprint “Indigo Bunting.” Thanks to him for that.

If you click on the author’s name up above, you’ll see that he has released several books since Somewhere. I seem to be hung up on it.


Indigo Bunting

Back when I was
as convinced as only
a young skeptic can be

that I would never meet
anyone to fall in love with

would never wake up
between warm sheets
breathing in unison
with the right woman

would certainly never marry

couldn’t conceivably know
the pleasure of looking
deep into the eyes
of a son or daughter

I was walking alone
along a winding rockroad
in my beloved hills
of southern Indiana.

I was kicking rocks
with my right foot
into dry Queen Anne’s lace
in the hot August sun.

A faint whir skimmed
across those flat
tops of snowy white.

I looked up just in time

to see a streak of blue
so pure and sweet
I thought I had never
looked up at the sky.

For the first time,
my friend, I was
ashamed of my certainty.

This blue is for you.


Finalists–Emerging Author Award: Jessica Brockmole
Letters from SkyeLetters from SkyeBrockmole uses letters to tell a remarkable story of two women, their loves, their secrets, and two world wars, cutting to the important matters that letter writers struggle to put into just the right words. In 1912, young poet Mrs. Elspeth Dunn, who has never left Scotland’s Isle of Skye because of her fear of boats, receives her first fan letter from David Graham, a college student in Urbana, Ill. They begin a long correspondence. After Elspeth’s husband goes off to war, she overcomes her fear and crosses to London to meet briefly with David, who is on his way to France to serve in the American Ambulance Field Service. Interspersed with Elspeth and David’s letters are 1940 missives from Margaret, Elspeth’s daughter, to her uncle and her fiancé as she tries to find out about her father, since Elspeth will not talk about her past. The beauty of Scotland, the tragedy of war, the longings of the heart, and the struggles of a family torn apart by disloyalty are brilliantly drawn, leaving just enough blanks to be filled by the reader’s imagination. — Publishers Weekly
Clifford Garstang

What the Zhang Boys KnowWhat the Zhang Boys Know has a dozen chapters, each one a vivid short story in itself. Garstang makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The lives of the inhabitants of a condominium in Washington, D.C’s Chinatown are told separately AND as part of a web of entanglements. The entrances and exits are handled with the deftness of a French comedy, but the empathy of the author brings all the characters achingly alive. What the Zhang Boys Know is a wonderful and haunting book. – John Casey, author of Compass Rose and Spartina, winner of the National Book Award


Kelsey Timmerman

Where Am I Eating? : An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy

Where Am I Eating? : An Adventure Through the Global Food EconomyAmerica now imports twice as much food as it did a decade ago. What does this increased reliance on imported food mean for the people around the globe who produce our food? Kelsey Timmerman set out on a global quest to meet the farmers and fisherman who grow and catch our food, and also worked alongside them: loading lobster boats in Nicaragua, splitting cocoa beans with a machete in Ivory Coast, and hauling tomatoes in Ohio. Where Am I Eating? tells fascinating stories of the farmers and fishermen around the world who produce the food we eat, explaining what their lives are like and how our habits affect them. — Publisher’s note


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