Maaza Mengiste was runner-up for fiction; Isabel Wilkerson for nonfiction. Fiction winner was Chang-Rae Lee; nonfiction winner was Wilbert Rideau. In 2011 the Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, in honor of the American diplomat and architect of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. Novelist Barbara Kingsolver was this year’s honoree. Click on the honoree’s name for video of acceptance speech.
Thirty years after vying for the attentions of a beautiful but damaged missionary wife at an orphanage, Korean orphan June Han and former GI Hector Brennan are reunited by a plot that forces them to come to terms with mysterious secrets from their past.
An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia's revolution.
Rideau brings to vivid life the world of the infamous Angola penitentiary and his long struggle for justice, giving his readers a searing expose of the failures of our legal system framed within his own dramatic tale of how he found meaning, purpose, and hope in prison.
Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.