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Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Announce 2020 Winners

Courtesy Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards released its 2020 prize winners this week, recognizing writers from across the globe for their work encouraging diversity and inclusion. 

The annual announcement reception had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, but organizers still hope to honor the winners with a celebration as scheduled in Cleveland this fall.

"We will do the right thing in terms of protecting the citizens and the writers in their ability to be together. And we will be inventive about what that might look like if need be," Awards Manager Karen Long said. 

This year’s winners include Namwali Serpell’s novelized and reimagined history of Zambia in "The Old Drift."

Illya Kaminsky’s book of poetry "Deaf Republic," explores deafness and a war when both when sides refuse to listen.

Charles King is recognized for "Gods of the Upper Air," about a group of renegade anthropologists who changed Western thought forever.

Writer and historian Eric Foner will be honored with the lifetime achievement award.

"Each one of these books advances our conversation about who can sit down at the American table," Long said. 

Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield-Wolf established the book prizes in 1935.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.