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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awards Awarded

Pulitzers of note (commentary quoted from AP story):

FEATURE WRITING: Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times

DeGregory was honored for what the Pulitzer board called her "moving, richly detailed story" about a neglected young girl, discovered in a roach-infested room, unable to talk or feed herself, who was adopted by a new family.

DeGregory spent six months watching the girl and her new family. She tracked down the girl's birth mother, the officer who rescued the girl, the doctors who examined her, the foster care worked who found her a home. Additional information came from hundreds of pages of police reports, medical records and court documents.

The St. Petersburg Times said more than 1 million people read "The Girl in the Window" online. It generated e-mails from 1,200 people worldwide.

HISTORY: "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family," by Annette Gordon-Reed.

Gordon-Reed, a professor of law at New York Law School, explores several generations of the Hemings clan and, according to the judges, "casts provocative new light" on the relationship between the nation's third president and his slave.

The Pulitzer board said she was the first African-American to win the history prize.

BIOGRAPHY: "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," by Jon Meacham.

The book was described by the judges as an "unflinching portrait" of Jackson, written in "agile" prose that brings Jackson's story to life.

GENERAL NONFICTION: "Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II," by Douglas A. Blackmon.

Blackmon, the Atlanta bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, has written extensively about the use of African-Americans as forced laborers in the nation's coal mines, lumber camps, railroads and plantations in the early 20th century. . . . The judges called the book a "precise and elegant" work that "rescues a multitude of atrocities from virtual obscurity."

In addition to the Pulitzers being announced, the 2009 Northern California Book Awards were doled out. Of interest to this crowd: Richard A. Muller, Physics for Future Presidents, won in the general nonfiction category. Noted Berkeley composer John Adams' Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life won in the creative nonfiction category.



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