NEW YORK – Stories of immigrants, transient workers, wolves and a Wisconsin auto plant are among the nominees for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.
The $10,000 award honors nonfiction books of both literary quality and social impact. The finalists announced Friday include Helen Thorpe’s “The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom,” Jessica Bruder’s “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” and Amy Goldstein’s “Janesville: An American Story.” The other nominees are Nate Blakeslee’s “American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West” and Lauren Markham’s “The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life.”
Blakeslee was in Spokane in December, as his “American Wolf” was the subject of the Northwest Passages Book Club event that month, sponsored by The Spokesman-Review.
The Lukas prize, named for the late author and journalist, is presented by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. The Columbia school and Nieman also announced finalists for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award, which provides $25,000 grants to two authors currently working on a “significant” nonfiction book, and the $10,000 Mark Lynton History Prize, for which nominees include Frances Fitzgerald’s “The Evangelicals” and Jonathan Eig’s Muhammad Ali biography “Ali.”
Other Lynton finalists are Edward L. Ayers’ Civil War history “The Thin Light of Freedom,” Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder biography “Prairie Fires” and Stephen Kotkin’s “Stalin.”
The finalists for the Work-in-Progress Award are Chris Hamby’s “Soul Full of Coal Dust,” Arthur Holland Michel’s “Eyes in the Sky,” Rachel Louise Snyder’s “No Visible Bruises,” Katherine E. Standefer’s “Lightning Flowers” and Susan Vinocour’s “The Trials of Barbara Briggs: Poverty, Insanity, and Justice in America.”
Winners will be announced March 27.
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