Contact Information

Riki Rafner

415-597-6712

rrafner@commonwealthclub.org

The Age of Perpetual Light and The Color of Law Lead California Book Awards Gold Medalists

Awards Ceremony: Monday, June 12, 2017 at 6 p.m.

GOLD MEDALS Awarded to:

FICTION:

The Age of Perpetual Light, Josh Weil, Grove Press

FIRST FICTION:

Goodbye, Vitamin, Rachel Khong, Henry Holt and Company

NONFICTION:

The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein, Liveright/W.W. Norton & Company

JUVENILE:

Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands, Susan Goldman Rubin, Chronicle Books

YOUNG ADULT:

The 57 Bus, Dashka Slater, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group

POETRY:

Heaven is All Goodbyes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, City Lights Publishers

NOTABLE CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLISHING:

The California Field Atlas, by Obi Kauffman, Heyday

CALIFORNIANA:

The Modoc War, Robert Aquinas McNally, Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press

SILVER MEDALS Awarded to:

FICTION:

So Much Blue, Percival Everett, Graywolf Press

NONFICTION:

The Far Away Brothers, Lauren Markham, Crown

SAN FRANCISCO – (May 9, 2017) The Commonwealth Club has announced the winners of the 87th annual California Book Awards. Book lovers from around the state will gather on Monday, June 12, at 6 p.m. at 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco to recognize the winners at a special program and reception. For tickets, call (415) 597-6700.

The chair of this year’s awards Mary Ellen Hannibal noted, “The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. Since 1931, the awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year, a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. This year the Commonwealth Club is proud to announce a significant increase in the monetary value of the award: gold award

winners will receive $5000, and silver award winners $2500. This largesse is made possible by the bequest of Martha Cox, a long-time fiction jury member and stalwart advocate especially for emerging talent.”

The ceremony will acknowledge Martha Heasley Cox, the extraordinary benefactor of literature and creativity. Dr. Cox foundationally supported the California Book Awards, among other endowments all focused on encouraging and supporting new talent. She was also a long-time fiction juror. “Martha was an unparalleled reader,” noted Hannibal. "We all strive to read as generously and as carefully as she did."

The 87th Annual California Book Awards ceremony will take place, June 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. at The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero in San Francisco. The event is open to the public. Book-signing will take place immediately after the ceremony. Most of the winners will be present to accept their awards and sign books after the program.

History

Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. Eligible books must be written while the author is a resident in California, and must be published during the year under consideration.

The California Book Awards have often been in the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who went on to garner national acclaim. John Steinbeck received three gold medals – for Tortilla Flat in 1935, In Dubious Battle in 1936 and The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. Recent award winners include Adam Johnson, Jared Diamond, Karen Fowler, Kay Ryan, William Vollman, Joyce Maynard, Andrew Sean Greer, Yiyun Li, Adrienne Rich, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Rodriguez, Michael Chabon, Philip Levine, Rebecca Solnit, Galen Rowell, Jonathan Lethem, Peter Orner and Kevin Starr.

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, with more than 20,000 members. The Club hosts speeches, debates and discussions on topics of regional, national and international interest.

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