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Anisfield-Wolf Awards Announced

This year's winners include a Vietnamese poet, a Native American novelist, a historian who chronicled the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, and a former Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow.

Paule Marshall is that former MacArthur Fellow. She will receive the Anisfield Wolf lifetime achievement award. Marshall is the daughter of Barbados immigrants, and she made her literary debut in 1959 with Brown Girl, Brownstones. Her most recent work is her memoir, Triangular Road.

Poet Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. He receives the award for a recent collection of poetry titled The Boat which also received both the Pushcart and Dylan Thomas prizes.

Annette Gordon-Reed won for her historical work, The Hemingses of Monticello, which just this week received a 2009 Pulitzer Prize.

Novelist Louise Erdrich will be honored for her thirteenth novel, The Plague of Doves. That book uses an unsolved murder to explore the relationship between communities on and off a North Dakota reservation.

This is the 74th year for Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which are given for works dealing with racism and diversity. Past winners have included Alex Haley, Zora Neale Hurston, Alan Paton, Henry Louis Gates and Toni Morrison. The awards ceremony will be held in Cleveland in September.