Luis Alberto Urrea was this year’s judge in General Nonfiction. Here are his comments:
The crop of books I was lucky enough to judge was extraordinary. I know judges often say “They were all winners,” but if I had my druthers, all five of these excellent finalists would have won. I made a selection of a worthy and brilliant book; however, if I could, I would also give the award to its peers.
Hiding Man by Tracy Daugherty: An astoundingly well researched and considered study of a sadly neglected master of American letters. This book is important on many levels–I had writers from all over the country mention it in causal conversation, asking if I had read it yet. It shows a broad scope of scholarship and a sure, steady hand in its narration. And it places Oregon’s literature on an international stage where it represents the writing and thought in the state with great honor. I am grateful for this book.
Strand by Bonnie Henderson:Beach combers, unite. Lovers of solitude, of the cool coasts, of fog and waves, lovers of fine science/nature reporting, this is the book for you. I would like to say to the author that her section about glass floats changed my life. I started to daydream about getting a float. I started looking on eBay. And then, suddenly, my father-in-law gave me a green Japanese glass float! I think of her whenever I see it.
Wild Beauty by John Laursen and Terry Toedtemeier: Exquisite. One of the most stunning books I have seen in years. Masterful and haunting. For anyone who loves the great Columbia River, this book is a perfect gift. The photography in it is priceless.
Wild Things by Donna Matrazzo: Simply lovely. The harbinger of a strong career to come. A personal encounter with the world, a woman’s eye, a fine prose voice. That she gave us this fine book via iUniverse shows the kind of strong spirit Oregon possesses.
Born Under a Bad Sky by Jeffrey St. Clair: This book has the mojo. As a fan of environmental/ nature writing, I often hunger for something new. Something…vital. This is it.
Whitenoise Project 22 + Caldera: Jolly Wrapper / Ahmed / Cheuk / Penaloza
September 17, 2019
Join Whitenoise Project and Caldera for a special event at Literary Arts.…
2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures: George Packer (Sold Out)
October 24, 2019
The series will begin on October 24 with author and staff writer…
The True, Brilliant You: Master Class with Brenda Shaghnessy
November 7, 2019
Thursday, November 7, 2019 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Instructor: Brenda Shaughnessy In…
Portland Book Festival 2019
November 9, 2019
Join Literary Arts for the 2019 Portland Book Festival, presented by Bank…
The Moth Mainstage in Portland
December 10, 2019
The Moth returns to Portland this December! This extraordinary performance will sell…
Everybody Reads 2020: Tommy Orange
March 5, 2020
Literary Arts is proud to host an evening with award-winning author Tommy…