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Tag Archives: 2012

Listen As Esi Edugyan, David Livingstone Smith, David W. Blight And Arnold Rampersad Discuss Race And Diversity

We won't spend too much time on an introduction today; let's get right to the meaty stuff. Recently, our 2012 winners all had a chance to speak with Dred-Scott Keyes on the Public Radio Exchange to discuss their books and the deeper themes within. Take a listen to David W. Blight and Esi Edugyan in part one, and David Livingstone Smith and Arnold Rampersad in part two: Read More →

VIDEO: Who Was The Most Important African American Leader Of The 19th Century?

Some of the world's greatest historians—David W. Blight, Henry Louis Gates, Taylor Branch, etc.—are also Anisfield-Wolf award winners. They know their subjects backward and forward, being able to recall dates, times, places with astonishing accuracy, clarity and insight. They make it possible for us to get to know some of history's most important leaders in a way that is completely accessible.  That is what David W. Blight aims to do with his upcoming book, his third focusing on the life of Frederick Douglass, who he claims is the "most important and famous African American leader in the nineteenth century." Check out the above video to learn more about the man who escaped slavery to become President Abraham Read More →

Upcoming Events For Our 2012 Winners

We are roughly a month away from the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf ceremony and is customary, we are alerting fans to several opportunities to meet our 2012 winners.  Book Signing with David Livingstone Smith Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood Branch (In the Meeting Room) 25501 Shaker BoulevardBeachwood, Ohio 44122-2398Corner of Richmond & Shaker BoulevardWednesday, September 12, 20127:00 PM – 8:30 PMRegistration is recommended. Click here to register.     Lecture with David W. Blight Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities (Clark Hall Room 309)Wednesday, September 12, 20124:30 PM – 5:30 PMThis event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended. Click here to register.  Read More →

Arnold Rampersad’s Peers Praise Him For Lifetime Achievement Win

Rampersad-2012-P For someone as storied as Arnold Rampersad, sometimes the best words of praise come not from awards jurors or book critics, but from colleagues who have worked side by side with you for years. Shelly Fisher Fiskin, who co-edited Oxford University Press’ Race and American Culture series with Rampersad, wrote that there are few people more deserving of an award than her longtime colleague: Fiskin writes: An extraordinarily elegant writer, a meticulous researcher, and a scholar gifted with the ability to focus on what matters most about any subject that he tackles, Arnold Rampersad richly deserves this honor. His biographies and his literary scholarship have had an enormous impact on our understanding of American culture, illuminating issues of race and racism in America in... Read More →

Biographer Arnold Rampersad Is The 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Winner

Arnold Rampersad, our 2012 Anisfield-Wolf winner, has a special tie to the Cleveland area, where our awards are hosted every year. As one of the nation's definitive biographers, he has covered noted Cleveland resident Langston Hughes in detail, publishing two volumes of The Life of Langston Hughes, served as editor of Collected Poems of Langston Hughes and Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes. We are looking forward to his remarks at the 2012 ceremony in September! Here's a few tidbits about our 2012 lifetime achievement winner that you can chew on:  Rampersad is a 2010 National Humanities Medal winner, along with Anisfield-Wolf jury member Joyce Carol Oates. The committee honored him for his skills as a gifted biographer and literary critic. Rampersad also joins the long... Read More →

2012 Winner David Livingstone Smith To Participate On G20 Summit Panel

2012 nonfiction winner David Livingstone Smith, author of Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others, will be a on a panel at the G20 Summit in Mexico. He's featured on a panel about provoking understanding, dealing with transforming communities and exploring new paradigms. In the video above, he explains why humans lie, and why it's a part of human nature. He tells the audience, "The picture we have now is lying is pervasive...because it's natural. It comes naturally to us. It's not something our parents have to teach us." Read More →

VIDEO: Esi Edugyan: “I’ve Wanted To Be A Writer Since I Was 13”

Often writers feel that urge to put their thoughts out in the world as young children. 2012 Anisfield-Wolf winner Esi Edugyan felt the bug as a pre-teen after she drafted a piece of poetry that was so good, her mother insisted she must have copied it from a book. From then on, being a writer was an ultimate goal of a young Ms. Edugyan. Check out this short video presentation put together for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and learn more about her thoughts on the writing process, whether she'll ever use social media to converse with fans, and how she feels when she completes a first draft. Read More →

VIDEO: David Livingstone Smith On Why Humans Demean Other Humans

"This book is the first serious study of the phenomenon of dehumanization," David Livingstone Smith says in this recent interview on his book, Less Than Human. "No one has really looked into what goes on when human beings think of other groups of human beings as sub-human creatures."  Check out the full interview to see how dehumanization has contributed to global crises like the Holocaust and global wars. Visit his website at RealHumanNature.com. Read More →

5 Things To Know About Esi Edugyan, 2012 Winner For Fiction

We’ll be spending this week exploring the lives and works of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Award winners. Today we're recognizing Esi Edugyan, who won the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Half-Blood Blues.  She counts Leo Tolstoy and Alice Munro among her favorite writers of all time: "Tolstoy has given me the most, year after year, without fail. I return to him for his scope, his sense of human destiny, the vastness of his vision. Alice Munro, for the precision of her writing, the sharp corners she can turn between sentences. There are many others – dozens and dozens! – of course."  If she wasn't a writer, she'd still be doing something creative: "I honestly don't know. On those days when you're having problems and dreaming of greener pastures, you know, you think about it…I... Read More →

5 Things To Know About David W. Blight, 2012 Winner For Nonfiction

We'll be spending this week exploring the lives and works of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Award winners. First up is David W. Blight, 2012 winner for nonfiction, for his work, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era. He's working on a biography of Frederick Douglass to be released in 2013. He is, as to be expected from his body of work, one of the nation's most preeminent scholars on the Civil War. (Read his thoughts on whether the war could have been prevented.)  His course at Yale, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877, is available for free on Yale's Open Courses website. Check it out here.  His work has been acknowledged by many, as his long list of awards and accolades can prove. He's won the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, the Merli Curti... Read More →
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