The following books are finalists for the 2020 Oregon Book Award in General Nonfiction. Each year, this program honors the state’s finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of poetry, fiction, graphic literature, drama, literary nonfiction, and literature for young readers. We will not be hosting our 33rd Annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony at Portland Center Stage at the Armory on June 22. However, we are excited to announce that the Oregon Book Awards will take place in a different format.
Please join us for:
“The 2020 Oregon Book Awards”
a special from Literary Arts: The Archive Project
Monday, June 22, 2020
7:00 to 7:30 p.m.OPB Radio (where to listen)
Carol Barrett of Bend, Pansies (Sonder Press)
A collection of 30 vignettes, Pansies recounts Barrett’s experience of the Apostolic Lutheran community through the lens of the young Apostolic babysitter she hires for her toddler.
Carol Barrett holds doctorates in clinical psychology and creative writing, and teaches for Union Institute & University. Pansies is her first nonfiction book. Her poetry collections are Calling in the Bones and Drawing Lessons. She has published in JAMA, Poetry Northwest, The Women’s Review of Books, among other venues.
“Spare and elegant, but also filled with wisdom and quiet humor, Pansies is a book to be savored.” —Judge Thor Hanson
George Estreich of Corvallis, Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves (MIT Press)
Fables and Futures is about human-directed biotechnology, from prenatal testing to genome editing. It argues that these technologies require us to imagine who counts as human and what it means to belong.
George Estreich is the author of a poetry collection, Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body, and the Oregon Book Award-winning memoir The Shape of the Eye. HisessaysandarticleshaveappearedinTheNewYorkTimes,Aeon,TheAmerican Medical Association Journal of Ethics, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
“Well-researched and beautifully written, this book asks us to reckon with the opportunities and pitfalls of new bio-technologies as they intersect with evolving ways of being in the world.”
—Judge Amy Bhatt
Barry Lopez of Finn Rock, Horizon (Alfred A. Knopf)
Horizon is an autobiographical account of several decades of international travel, journeys made during a time of worldwide concern over global climate change, the growing number of refugee camps, and the rise of authoritarian regimes.
Barry Lopez is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction and is the recipient of numerous literary, humanitarian, and environmental awards. He lives near Finn Rock, Oregon, with his wife, the writer Debra Gwartney.
“Lopez’ straightforward, sparkling prose hits a note so personal that it resonates and becomes what great nonfiction seeks to be: universal.”
—Judge Sophronia Scott
David Wolman and Julian Smith of Portland, Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West (HarperCollins/ Inkyard Press)
Aloha Rodeo unspools the fascinating and little-known true story of three Hawaiian cowboys whose 1908 adventure upended the conventional history of the American West.
Julian Smith is an award-winning journalist and author who covers science, history, travel and adventure. He writes for Smithsonian, Wired, Outside, National Geographic Traveler, and the Washington Post, and is a contributing editor to Archaeology magazine. His books include Crossing the Heart of Africa, Smokejumper, and Aloha Rodeo.
David Wolman is a Contributing Editor at Outside and a longtime contributor at Wired. He has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Nature, and many other publications. His previous books are The End of Money, Righting the Mother Tongue, and A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.
Thoroughly researched and expertly told, this delightful book shines an overdue spotlight on Hawaii’s cattle culture, a tradition with its own techniques, its own mystique, and its own heroes.”
—Judge Thor Hanson