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Monthly Archives: April 2019

What Anisfield-Wolf Taught Me: Finding Strength In My Immigrant Identity

by Jessica Yang I was five when I came to the U.S. from China. My first experiences of America were formed in a predominantly white town where I could count the number of non-white classmates on one hand. Other children asked me why my eyes were so small, whether I ate dogs, and why my lunch of homemade dumplings smelled weird. I chose to bury these memories because I wanted to believe the world was a better place. “The trick was to understand America, to know that America was give-and-take. You gave up a lot but you gained a lot, too.” That observation comes from Chimamanda Adichie’s short story, “The Thing Around My Neck.” I discovered it in a first-year seminar at Case Western Reserve University, an experience that helped awaken me to the power in sharing things that make... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf -Winning Authors Nab Two Pulitzer Prizes

David W. Blight and Brent Staples -- two Anisfield-Wolf Book Award recipients – discovered this week that each had won a Pulitzer Prize.  Blight’s monumental biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” received the Pulitzer for history. And Staples, an editorial writer for the New York Times, has won for a series of newspaper opinion pieces. Both men will be awarded $15,000. Two more Anisfield-Wolf winners were named as Pulitzer finalists: novelist Tommy Orange, this year's fiction winner for his debut, "There There" and historian Jill Lepore, who won an Anisfield-Wolf prize in 2006, a finalist in criticism for her writing in the New Yorker. Three historians selected the Douglass biography: Annette Gordon-Reed, Tiya Miles and Marcus Rediker. Gordon-Reed, who... Read More →

“A World Built On Bondage”: Anisfield-Wolf Authors Close The 2019 Virginia Festival Of The Book

Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and John Edgar Wideman (American Histories) discuss the meanings of race, violence, and freedom, as explored in their acclaimed fiction. Edugyan and Wideman each received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for an earlier novel; they are accompanied in conversation with Award jury member Rita Dove. This discussion of their work, reflections on historic injustices, and writing that helps make the American story a complete story will be the official closing program of the Festival, and seeks to support and celebrate diversity while working towards understanding the invasive and structural roots of racism. Peter Hedlund/Virginia Humanities Eighteen months after the Unite the Right racist violence wracked Charlottesville, the 25th anniversary of the Virginia... Read More →

Jericho Brown’s New Poetry Collection “The Tradition” A Daring, Inventive Body Of Work

Jericho Brown recreates the cover of The Tradition. Photo by Brian Cornelius. Artwork by Lauren “Ralphi” Burgess. The cover of Jericho Brown’s new poetry collection, The Tradition, features a young black boy, perhaps 10 years old, surrounded in a lush field of flowers, ocean waves at his back. It’s beauty is evident, but it intimidated Brown when he first saw it. “It’s so gorgeous and it does speak directly to the poems,” he told The Rumpus. “I kept wondering, “Are these poems good enough for this goddamn cover?” Let that answer be an emphatic yes. This work, stitched together over 51 poems, is a meditation on grief, violence, fatherhood, trauma, sexuality and beauty. The Tradition is his third book, the follow-up to 2014’s The New Testament, which won the... Read More →
  • 2019 Winners Announced

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