Marlon James won the new Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, and Walter Mosley was honored with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement when the 40th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were awarded today on The Times’ Books Twitter feed.
Following each prize announcement, a video of the winner’s speech was shared on Twitter, with all videos now compiled on The Times’ YouTube page.
The Book Prizes recognized outstanding literary works in 12 categories.
2019 Book Prizes Winners
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
- Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift: A Novel, Hogarth
- George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, Knopf
Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose
- Emily Bernard, Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine, Knopf
- Emily Bazelon, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, Random House
- Ben Lerner, The Topeka School: A Novel, Farrar, Straus, Giroux
- Eleanor Davis, The Hard Tomorrow, Drawn & Quarterly
- Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Yale University Press
- Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay: A Novel, Ecco
- Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic: Poems, Graywolf Press
Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
- Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy Book 1), Riverhead
Science & Technology
- Maria Popova, Figuring, Knopf
Young Adult Literature
- Malla Nunn, When the Ground is Hard, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Bradbury Prize winner Marlon James said in his acceptance remarks:
Well, you know, there is something kind of ironic about winning an award in tribute to the creator of the original American dystopia when we are in a kind of dystopia. You know, I I think kind of it makes me think even more about Ray Bradbury and more about how we look at his dystopia as a possible future not realizing in a way it has happened. You know, we’re not burning books but we’re burning intelligence, we are burning expertise, we are burning the simple privilege of knowing, and we’re seeing the consequences of that. But let’s not deal too much with the bad because this is a great occasion and I’m so incredibly honored and so incredibly humbled by winning this the inaugural Ray Bradbury prize for science fiction fantasy and speculative fiction…
Walter Mosley’s acceptance video:
The complete list of 2019 Book Prizes finalists and previous winners is available at latimes.com/BookPrizes, as is eligibility and judging information
The Book Prizes awards ceremony usually takes place at the LA Times Festival of Books in the spring, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and rescheduled to October 3-4 at USC.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and Michael Toman for the story.]