In addition to a deeper shortlist than ever before, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize announces two new awards. One is the first-ever Graphic Novel Prize, making the LA Times Book Prize the first major book award in the United States to bestow this honor in a category that has for years included a rich and varied body of exciting titles.
The second is the Innovator’s Award. Mad props to Dave Eggers who is the inaugural recipient of this award. Eggers is the author of What is the What, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and the recent book Zeitoun, a quintessentially American story about Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s experiences in New Orleans during and following Hurricane Katrina, the contradictions at the heart of our country and Zeitoun’s reconciliation of hope with devastation and profound beauty with a stew of sewage, death and destruction. Zeitoun is a 2009 LA Times book prize finalist in the Current Interest category.
In addition to his published work, Eggers founded the 826 literacy centers in 8 cities including Chicago. 826 National connects youth with the written word. Eggers is also the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house that produces a journal, a monthly magazine, short films and documentaries, and a diverse assortment of books. Eggers has engaged with the written word in a variety of formats and has drawn readers (and writers) of all ages into the power of story in a number of exciting and innovative ways.
For a complete list of the finalists, click here.