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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/19/2006

Washington Center for the Book announces 2006 Washington State Book Award winners

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The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library announced that six books written by local authors are winners of the 2006 Washington State Book Awards.

These authors will be honored at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at a public ceremony at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., in the Microsoft Auditorium on Level 1. This program is free and open to the public. Parking in the Central Library garage will be available for the $5 special event rate.

The event will feature remarks and readings by the award recipients. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

This is the 40th year of the program, formerly called the Governor's Writers Awards.

A book award is given based on the strength of the publication's literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality.

The 2006 Washington State Book Award winners are:

1. Fiction: "A Sudden Country" by Karen Fisher, of Lopez Island (Random House)

'The Testing of Luther Albright" by MacKenzie Bezos, of Bellevue (Fourth Estate)
"Shoot the Buffalo" by Matt Briggs, of Des Moines, Wash. (Clear Cut Press)
"Frances Johnson" by Stacey Levine, of Portland, Ore. (Clear Cut Press)
"My Jim" by Nancy Rawles, of Seattle (Crown)
"Citizen Vince" by Jess Walter, of Spokane (Regan Books)

2. Poetry: "Luck Is Luck" by Lucia Perillo, of Olympia (Random House)

"Bellini in Istanbul" by Lillias Bever, of Seattle (Tupelo)
"First Hand" by Linda Bierds, of Bainbridge Island (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
"Taken With" by J.W. Marshall, of Seattle (Wood Works)
"The Quick" by Katrina Roberts, of Walla Walla (University of Washington Press)
"Good Morning and Good Night" by David Wagoner, of Seattle (University of Illinois Press)

3. History/Biography: "The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl" by Timothy Egan, of Seattle (Houghton Mifflin)

"On American Soil" by Jack Hamann, of Seattle (Algonquin)
"Strawberry Days" by David Neiwert, of Seattle (Palgrave MacMillan)
"Michelangelo's Mountain" by Eric Scigliano, of Seattle (Free Press)

4. General Nonfiction: "In the Company of Crows and Ravens" by John M. Marzluff, of Snohomish, and Tony Angell, of Seattle (Yale University Press)

"58 Degrees North" by Hugo Kugiya, of Brooklyn, N.Y. (Bloomsbury)
"Home Stand" by James McKean, of Iowa City, Iowa (Michigan State University Press)
"Toward a New Regionalism" by David Miller, of Seattle (University of Washington Press)
"My Holy War" by Jonathan Raban, of Seattle (New York Review of Books)

The 2006 winners of the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award are:

5. "So, What's It Like to Be a Cat?" a picture book by Karla Kuskin (author), of Bainbridge Island, and Betsy Lewin (illustrator), of Brooklyn, N.Y. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

"The Bora-Bora Dress" by Carole Lexa Schaefer (author), of Seattle, and Catherine Stock (illustrator), of New York City (Candlewick)

6. "The Witch's Boy," a novel by Michael Gruber, of Seattle (HarperTempest)

"Wild Roses" by Deb Caletti, of Issaquah (Simon & Schuster)

The recipient of the 2005 Maxine Cushing Gray Award is Ursula K. Le Guin, of Portland, Ore.

The Maxine Cushing Gray Fellowship for Writers was created in Gray's honor by a group of her friends who thought it would be a fitting tribute to her, to recognize and support writers. Gray (1909-1987) began as a music and dance critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, served as arts editor for The Argus for 20 years, and was publisher and editor of Northwest Arts from 1975 to her death. The recipient of the Maxine Cushing Gray Award must be a writer of poetry or prose, a playwright, journalist, or critic; a writer of serious intent and noteworthy talent; and a resident of the Northwest (Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Idaho, Western Montana).

Ursula K. Le Guin, a writer of tremendous power and range, has published more than 60 books of poetry and prose, a libretto, a screenplay, and many chapbooks. She is a renowned poet, short story writer, novelist, and critic. Her many awards include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, Pushcart Prize, National Book Award, PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, James Tiptree Jr. Award, Harold Vursell Award from the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters, and a Newbery Silver Medal. Her books have been finalists for the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Le Guin is particularly recognized for her groundbreaking speculative/science fiction novels, which include "The Left Hand of Darkness," "The Dispossessed," and "The Lathe of Heaven." Through her work and her advocacy of other writers, Le Guin has helped the world awaken to the serious beauty of science fiction writing at its best and to its possibilities as world-changing art. Her work has also inspired and guided generations of women writers.

Le Guin is also renowned for her poetry and for her translations of the poetry of Gabriela Mistral and of Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching." She is the author of many beloved children's books such as "Fire and Stone" and most recently, her "Catwings" books. Her books for young adults include "The Farthest Shore" and "The Tombs of Atuan." She received the 2004 American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her lifetime contribution to young adult readers.

While Le Guin's landscape is broad, her work is evocative of the Pacific Northwest. Her books are favorites worldwide and include many enduring classics that will be read, enjoyed, and taught for years to come.

The jury for the adult awards and the Maxine Cushing Gray Award included Karen Maeda Allman, writer and bookseller, The Elliott Bay Book Company; Michael Coy, owner and bookseller, M. Coy Books; Tod Marshall, assistant professor of English, Gonzaga University; Venta Silins, reference/education librarian, University of Washington, Bothell; and Edwin Weihe, chair, associate professor of English, Seattle University.

The jury for the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award included Mary Harris, co-owner, Parkplace Books, Kirkland; Dianna LaBate, school librarian, Stillwater Elementary, Duvall; and Judy Nelson, youth services coordinator, Pierce County Library System.

The authors of the six award-winning books, as well as the illustrator of the picture book, will receive a $1,000 honorarium, thanks to the generous support of The Seattle Public Library Foundation and Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi. Ursula K. Le Guin, winner of the Maxine Cushing Gray Award, will also receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Books will be available for purchase and signing, courtesy of The Elliott Bay Book Company.

For more information contact:


Linda Johns, Coordinator for Washington Center for the Book

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