2018 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winners Announced

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The Cleveland Foundation has announced the winners of the 83rd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.

In 19-35, Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield-Wolf established the award as a way to honor literature that explores issues of racism and diversity.

Awards manager Karen Long shares thoughts on this year's winners.

Poetry: Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor

"Mr. McCrae taught for three years at Oberlin.  His first book was published down the street by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center.  He's now on the faculty of Columbia.  He will be famous by and by," Long said.


Lifetime Achievement: N. Scott Momaday

"[Momaday's] characters were modern people not people out of the past, yet they were straddling a couple of worlds.  I re-read House Made of Dawn recently and it stands up like an anvil.  It's gorgeous," she said.


Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

"Jesmyn Ward has been compared to both William Faulkner and Toni Morrison.  She casts that kind of spell with her writing.  She's the only woman in history to win two National Book Awards and last year the Macarthur Foundation designated her a genius," she said.


Nonfiction: Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News

"[Young] had an idea to look at the American love of the con from P.T. Barnum to the Birthers," she said.


The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners will be honored Sept. 27 at Playouse Square's State Theatre.

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