Chicago Jazz Novel, an LGBT History and the Cultural Roots of Tap Dancing Among Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winners

Orlando Patterson (PHOTO: Harvard)
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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards were established in 1935 as a way of celebrating books that explore the roots of prejudice and racism.  Over the past 81 years, those explorations have taken many forms.

2016 non-fiction winner and New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert discovered a racially-charged piece of American culture in his history of tap dancing, called What the Eye Hears.  Novelist Mary Morris won for her fictional story, The Jazz Palace, about the collaboration of African American and Jewish musicians.

Jamaican-born, Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson gets this year's Lifetime Achievement award for his career-spanning research.  Anisfield Awards manager Karen Long says Patterson's work  dives deeply into issues of race and what he calls the "cultural dimensions of poverty" 

"It's complicated --- in the United States, in Orlando Patterson's books, in his assertions about how and why we are, what we are."

Rounding out this year's award-winners, are Lillian Faderman's history of the American LGBT rights movement, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, and a collection of poems by Rowan Ricardo Phillips, called Heaven.

The five Anisfield-Wolf honorees will receive their awards in a downtown Cleveland ceremony, this September. 


 

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