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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. For 84 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice. Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity.

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  • 2019 Winners Announced

From The Jury Chair

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Letter from the Chairman, Henry Louis Gates Jr. Thoughtful, provocative writing about cultural identity has been rare in this country, so that makes it even more remarkable that... Read More →

From The Cleveland Foundation

Ronald Richard
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.5 billion and annual grants of $100... Read More →

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Latest Blog Posts

  • Cleveland Residents Invited To Anisfield-Wolf Reading Series


      Pull up a chair at Case Western Reserve University’s new reading seminar for a hearty discussion of four Anisfield-Wolf award-winning books, covering everything from the modern, urban Native experience to the consequences of political upheaval in Chile. Organizers invite you to explore four Anisfield-Wolf award winning books: “There There” by Tommy Orange (2019, fiction) […] Read More →

  • Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston With The Release Of “The Zora Canon”


    Anisfield-Wolf recipient Zora Neale Hurston would have turned 129 years old January 7. To celebrate her birthday, the editors of ZORA, an online magazine eponymously named after the Harlem Renaissance writer and pioneering anthropologist, compiled the ZORA Canon, its definitive list of the best books written by African American women. Novelist Kaitlyn Greenidge (“We Love […] Read More →

  • Put These 2019 Titles On Your 2020 Book List


    In the onslaught of titles published each year, friends of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards can deploy a powerful technique to sift the wheat from the chaff: Find the new work from those writers already in the canon. Here are some gems sitting atop the 2019 pile: “Black Leopard Red Wolf” by Marlon James The Jamaican […] Read More →

  • Tommy Orange Shares The Urban Native American Experience In “There There” During Cleveland Book Week


    Novelist Tommy Orange, cast in the warm glow of the lights at St. John Episcopal Church, brought his Anisfield-Wolf award-winning debut, “There There” to Northeast Ohio for Cleveland Book Week. The evening’s reading melded some new writing from Orange about fathers and sons playing basketball with dancers and drummers from the Lake Erie Native American […] Read More →

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