Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heartland Prize to Rebecca Skloot

Portland's own Rebecca Skloot was recently awarded one of two 2010 Heartland Prizes by the Chicago Tribune for her wonderful book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca, daughter of local poet and memoirist Floyd Skloot, has written a book that has taken the world by storm -- currently it's standing at #7 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. We wrote about the book extensively when it first came out, so you can read more about it here. The past two recipients of the nonfiction Heartland Prize were Nick Reding for Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town and Garry Wills for Head and Heart: American Christianities.

The Tribune also awarded the 2010 Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement to Sam Shepard, playwright, screenwriter, author, stage and film director, musician, songwriter, and actor. His most recent book is a collection of short stories, Days Out of Days: Stories, set mainly in the West.

The Heartland Prize for Fiction went to E.O. Wilson for his first novel, Anthill, the story of an Alabama boy who becomes fascinated with ants. He is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes for his earlier nonfiction work. The two previous winners of the Heartland Prize for Fiction were Jayne Anne Phillips for Lark & Termite and Aleksander Hemon for The Lazarus Project.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is one of the most interesting and well told stories I've read in a long time. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so; it's well worth your time. Congratulations, Rebecca!

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