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American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation

The American Book Awards, established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation, recognize outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors, without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre. The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge the excellence and multicultural diversity of American writing.

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The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990 - 2000 by Al Young

Reading the Funnies: Looking at Great Cartoonists Throughout The First Half of the Twentieth Century by Donald Phelps

Is There No Other Way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future by Michael N. Nagler

Lipstick and Other Stories by Alex Kuo

Shell Shaker by Leanne Howe

Interrogations at Noon by Dana Gioia

Homeless at Home by Gloria Frym

The Living Blood by Tananarive Due

Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew

The Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir by Susanne Antonetta

Aaron A. Abeyta

Lifetime Achievement: Lerone Bennett, Jr. - Jack Hirschman

Children's Literature: Angels in the Vineyards by Jessel Miller


Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories; The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949, Amanda J. Cobb

Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation, Andrea Dworkin

When Living Was a Labor Camp, Diana García

Kissing the Bread: New and Selected Poems, 1969-1999, Sandra M. Gilbert

Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Chalmers Johnson

Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories, Russell Charles Leong

The Island of Lost Luggage, Janet McAdams

Bruised Hibiscus, Elizabeth Nunez

Killing Time with Strangers, W.S. Penn

Packinghouse Daughter: A Memoir, Cheri Register

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware

Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire, Carolyne Wright

Editor/Publisher Award: Malcolm Margolin

Lifetime Achievement: Ted Joans; Tillie Olsen; Philip Whalen


From the Belly of My Beauty, Esther G. Belin

Sing When the Spirit Says Sing: Selected & New Poems 1960-1990, Jon Eckels

Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective, Emil Guillermo

Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, Elva Treviño Hart

It's Not Nostalgia: Poetry and Prose, Michael Lally

All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, Michael Patrick MacDonald

The Ice Wosrkers Sings and Other Poem, Andrés Montoya

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, Kate Moses and Camille Peri, editors

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Janisse Ray

Italian American: The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity, David A.J. Richards

Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English, John Russell Rickford and Russell John Rickford

Why She Left Us, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

The Trickster Shift: Humor and Irony in Contemporary Native Art, Allan J. Ryan

Year in Nam: A Native American Soldier's Story, Leroy TeCube

Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times, Helen Thomas

Exotica, David Toop

Heads by Harry (as part of trilogy with Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers and Blu's Hanging), Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Journalism Award: Jack E. White

Editor/Publisher Award: Ronald Sukenick

Lifetime Achievement Award: Frank Chin; Robert Creeley


The Farming of Bones, Edwidge Danticat

Right Here, Right Now, Trey Ellis

The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of U.S. Hispanic Literature, Lauro Flores (editor)

What Book!?:Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop, Gary Gach (editor)

Hip Hop America, Nelson George

The Last Paradise, James D. Houston

Ghost Dancing, Anna Linzer

Transforming the Culture of Schools: Yup'ik Eskimo Examples, Jerry Lipka, with Gerald V. Mohatt and the Ciulistet Group

Charming Billy, Alice McDermott

The Freshour Cylinders, Speer Morgan

The Men of Brewster Place, Gloria Naylor

Salvation and Other Disasters, Josip Novakovich

First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim, Judith Roche and Meg McHutchison (editors)

Sometimes the Soul, Gioia Timpanelli

Survivor's Medicine, E. Donald Two-Rivers

Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life, Luis Alberto Urrea

Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations, Brian Ward

Children' s Book Award:

Home to Medicine Mountain, Chiori Santiago (writer) and Judith Lowry (illustrator)


On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions, Jim Barnes

Bitter Grounds, Sandra Benitez

Dog Road Woman, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday, Angela Y. Davis

Underworld, Don DeLillo

The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History, Scott DeVeaux

Comfort Woman, Nora Okja Keller

The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, Thomas Lynch

All Saints, Brenda Marie Osbey

Love Like Gumbo, Nancy Rawles

Safari West, John A. Williams


Et Tu...Raza, Alurista

The Post-Rapture Diner, Dorothy Barresi

Black Intellectuals: Race and Responsibility in American Life, William M. Banks

Gospel Choirs, Derrick Bell

Maker of Saints, Thulani Davis

Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, Tom De Haven

Imagine the Angels of Bread, Martin Espada

Dreams of the Centaur, Monserrat Fontes

The New World Border: Prophecies, Poems, and Loqueras for the End of the Century, Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Race Traitor, Noel Ignatiev and John Garvey

Women of the Beat Generation, Brenda Knight

Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of the Homelands, Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America, Sunaina Maira and Rajini Srikanth

Nightland, Louis Owens


Reservation Blues, Sherman Alexie

The Physician of London, Stephanie Cowell

Arranged Marriage, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Longing, Maria Espinosa

The Tunnel, William Gass

The Unbearable Heart, Kimiko Hahn

Girl Hurt, E. J. Miller Laino

Native Speaker, Chang-rae Lee

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, James W. Loewen
One by One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America, Glenn C. Loury

Woman in Amber: Healing the Trauma of War and Exile, Agate Nesaule

Palestine, Joe Sacco

Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution, Ron Sakolsky and Fred Wei-han Ho, editors

Archipelago, Arthur Sze

Astoria, Robert Viscusi


Life Sentences: Writers, Artists, and AIDS, Thomas Avena

Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America, Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen

Face of an Angel, Denise Chavez

Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South, John Egerton

The Light People, Gordon Henry, Jr.

The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, Li-Young Lee

I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted, Sandra Haldeman Martz

Green Fires: Assault on Eden: A Novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest, Marnie Mueller

Banished Children of Eve, Peter Quinn

Rocking the Babies, Linda Raymond

Spidertown, Abraham Rodriguez, Jr.

Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Tricia Rose

Rebellion from the Roots: Indian Uprising in Chicago, John Ross

Crossing Ocean Parkway: Readings by an Italian American Daughter, Marianna De Marco Torgovnick


Aloud! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe, edited by Miguel Algarin and Bob Holman

Flood! A Novel in Pictures, Eric Drooker

Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Paul Gilroy

Daughters of Feminists, Rose Glickman

Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter, Janet Campbell Hale

Legends from Camp, Lawson Inada

In Search of Bernabé, Graciela Limón

Economic Empowerment Through the Church, Gregory J. Reed

Benedetta in Guysterland, Giose Rimanelli

A Different Mirror: A Muliticultural History of America, Ronald Takaki

Scenes from the Movie GIANT, Tino Villanueva

WOOD-HOOPOE Willie, Virginia Kroll, illustrated by Katherine Roundtree

Volunteered Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience, Jill Nelson


Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation, Francisco X. Abarc¢u

The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, Jack Beatty

Paris Connections: African-American Artists in Paris, Asake Bomani and Belvie Rooks

Elevating the Game: Black Men and Basketball, Nelson George

The Unquiet Earth, Denise Giardina

Claiming Breath, Diane Glancy

Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education, Gerald Graff

We Gave Away a Fortune: Stories of People Who Have Devoted Themselves and Their Wealth to Peace, Justice and the Environment, Christopher Mogil and Anne Slepian, with Peter Woodrow

Neets'aii Gwiindaii: Living in the Chandalar Country, Katherine Peter

The History of Home, Leroy Quintana

The Eye in the Ceiling: Selected Poems, Eugene Redmond

Twice Blessed, Ninotchka Rosca

Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism: Volume I:Prophetic Thought in Post- Modern Times; Volume II: Prophetic Reflections: Notes on Race and Power in America, Cornel West


Jessie and Jesus, Raymond Andrews

Cousin Claire, Raymond Andrews

Cebu, Peter Bacho

Black Thunder: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama, William B. Branch

Madam C.J. Walker, A'Lelia Perry Bundles

Undocumented Love, José Antonio Burciaga

Belonging to the Universe, Fritjof Capra and David Steindl-Rast with Thomas Capra

Hansberry's Drama: Commitment Amid Complexity, Steven Carter

In the Realm of a Dying Emperor, Norma Field

The Unknown Internment: An Oral History of the Relocation of Italian Americans During World War II, Stephen Fox

Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, Donna J. Haraway

A Dena'ina Legacy, K'tl'egh'i Sukdu: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky, edited by James Kari and Alan Boraas

The Last Fine Time, Verlyn Klinkenborg

Calendar of Dust, Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Beyond Deserving, Sandra Scofield

Maus: A Survivor's Tale, I: My Father Bleeds History; II: And Here My Troubles Began, Art Speigelman

To the American Indian: Reminscences of a Yurok Woman, Lucy Thompson (Che- ne-wah Weitch-ah-wah)

The Journey, Sheila Hamanaka

Voices of the Self: A Study of Language, Keith Gilyard


Homesick: New & Selected Stories, Lucia Berlin

Terra Firma, Thomas Centolella

Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog with Richard Erdoes

Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory, edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer

Dogeaters, Jessica Hagedorn

In Mad Love and War, Joy Harjo

Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics, bell hooks

Looking for Home: Women Writing About Exile, edited by Deborah Keenan and Roseann Lloyd

Harvest Song, Meridel Le Sueur

Heroism in the New Black Poetry, D.H. Melhem

Overtime: Punchin' Out with the Mill Hunk Herald, The Mill Hunk Herald

The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes, R. Baxter Miller

Southern Front, Alejandro Murguia

Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam, edited by Charley Trujillo

Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Karen Tei Tamashita

Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman

Black Robes, White Justice, Bruce Wright


Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women, Paula Gunn Allen

Black Athena, Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilizations: Volume 1, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece, 1785-1985, Martin Bernal

Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry, Michelle T. Clinton, Sesshu Foster, and Naomi Quinonez

Miles: The Autobiography, Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe

Hearts of Sorrow: Vietnamese-American Lives, James M. Freeman

Women on War (Essential Voices for the Nuclear Age), Daniela Gioseffi

Vivar a Hostos, Jose Emilio Gonzalez

Italian Days, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Symbolic Immmortality: The Tlingit Potlatch of the 19th Century, Sergei Kan

People Who Led to My Plays, Adrienne Kennedy

The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's anthology, edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Margarita Donnelly

Mulberry and Peach: Two Women of China, Hualing Nieh

Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: Family Portraits and PersonalEscapades, Itabari Njeri

The Light at the End of the Bog, John Norton

Romans and Blacks, Lloyd A. Thompson

The Harlem Fox, J. Raymond James and Tammany, 1920-1970, John C. Walter

Hand into Stone, Elizabeth Woody


Eva Luna, Isabel Allende, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

Chinaman Pacific and Frisco R.R. Co., Frank Chin

Homemade Love, J. California Cooper

Columbia Literary History of the United States, edited by Emory Elliott

The Exiles of Erin: 19th Century Irish American Fiction, Charles Fanning

Memory of Fire, Eduardo Galeano, translated by Cedric Belfrage

The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The Right Thing to Do, Josephine Gattuso Hendin

Repairing America, William Hohri

Wode Shuofa (My Way of Speaking), Carolyn Lau

A Burst of Light, Audre Lorde

Way, Leslie Scalapino

Stone's Throw, Jennifer Stone

Floating the River in Melancholy, Shuntaro Tanikawa, translated by William I. Eliot and Kazuo Kawamura (bilingual edition)

From the Pyramids to the Projects: Poems of Genocide and

Resistance, Askia Muhammed Toure

The Ultraviolet Sky, Alma Luz Villanueve


Martin and Meditations on the South Valley, Jimmy Santiago Baca

The Long Shadow of Little Rock, Daisy Bates

Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought, Allison Blakely

The Reckoning, David Halberstam

Songs of Gold Mountain, Marlon Horn

The Boys of Bensonhurst, Salvatore La Puma

Expounding the Doubtful Points, Wing Tek Lum

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Collected Poems of Charles Olson, Charles Olson, edited by George Butterick

Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century: Poems 1961-1985, Edward Sanders

Tight Spaces, Kesho Scott, Cherry Muhanji & Egyirba High

Down and In, Ronald Sukenick

Griever: An American Monkey King in China, Gerald Vizenor

The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow, Opal Whiteley, presented by Benjamin Hoff



Liberazione della Dona: Feminism in Italy, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum

Confessions of Madame Psyche, Dorothy Bryant

The Mixquiahuala Letters, Ana Castillo

Ready From Within, Septima Clark, edited by Cynthia Stokes Brown

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker, Gary Giddins

Face Games, Juan Felipe Herrera

The Essential Etheridge Knight, Etheridge Knight

Practicing Angels, A Contemporary Anthology of San

Francisco Bay Area Poetry, edited by Michael Mayo

Portrait of a Little Boy in Darkness, Daniel McGuire

Mama, Terry McMillan

American Splendor, Harvey Pekar

Selected Poems, 1958-1984, John Wieners

Fools Crow, James Welch

Circumnavigations, Cyn Zarco


Time's Now, Miguel Algarin

The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writing by Italian American Women, edited by Helen Barolini

A Daughter of the Nobility, Natasha Borovsky

Smiles on Washington Square, Raymond Federman

Seeing Through the Sun, Linda Hogan

My Emily Dickinson, Susan Howe

I Hear You Knockin', Jeff Hannusch (a.k.a. Almost Slim)

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua

Yokohama, California, Toshio Mori

The Sun Is Not Merciful, Anna Lee Walters

Irish Musicians/American Friends, Terence Winch


The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

Ground Work: Before the War, Robert Duncan

Love Medicine, Louise Erdich

Justice at War, Peter Irons

Solo in the Box Car, Third Floor E, Angela Jackson

Say Ray, Ron Jones

Queen of the Ebony Aisles, Colleen J. McElroy

Poets Behind Barbed Wire, edited and translated by Jiro Nakano and Kay Nakano Round Valley Songs, William Oandasan

Amelia Earhart (AE), Maureen Owen

Homegirls and Handgrenades, Sonia Sanchez

At Seventy: A Journal, May Sarton

Living Up the Street, Gary Soto

Genth's Photographs of San Francisco's Old Chinatown, Kohn Kuo Wei Tchen


Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women, Amiri Baraka and Amina Baraka

The Heat Bird, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Days Without Weather, Cecil Brown

Breaking Silence: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Poets, Joseph Bruchac

A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches, Jesus Colon

O Albany, William Kennedy

The Mama Poems, Maurice Kenny

Naked in Deccan, Vankatesh Kulkarni

Praisesong for the Window, Paule Marshall

Pie-Biter, illustrated by Ruthanne Lum McCunn and You-shan Tang, translated by Ellen Lai-shan Yeung

Echoes Inside the Labyrinth, Thomas McGrath

Citizen 13660, Mine Okubo

The Captive Soul of the Messiah: New Tales About Red Nachman, Howard Schwartz

Axe Handles, Gary Snyder


Not By the Sword, Nash Candelaria

Black Women Novelists, Barbara Christian

Queen of Wands, Judy Grahn

Lost Highway, Peter Guralnick

Pet Food & Tropical Apparitions, Jessica Hagedorn

Californians, James D. Houston

Obasan, Joy Kogawa

Chinese Folk Poetry, Cecilia Liang

An Duanaire, Sean O'Tuama and Thomas Kinsella

The Legend of Food Mountain, Harriet Rohmer

!Click Song, John A. Williams

Thirty An' Seen a Lot, Evangelina Vigil


The Book of Jamaica, Russell Banks

Emplumada, Lorna Dee Cervantes

Chickencoop Chinaman and Year of the Dragon, Frank Chin

Enclave, Tato Laviera

Collected Poems, E.L. Mayo

Songs for the Harvester of Dreams, Duane Niatum

This Passover or Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem, Hilton Obenzinger

Sangre, Leroy Quintana

Pre-Faces & Other Writings, Jerome Rothenberg

Shino Suite, Ronald Tanaka

Marked by Fire, Joyce Carol Thomas

Bodies & Soul, Al Young

Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910- 1949, edited by Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung


Turn Again to Me & Other Poems, Helen Adams

On Call, Miguel Alarin

The Shameless Hussy, alta

The Salt Eaters, Toni Cade Bambara

Back Then Tomorrow, Peter Blue Cloud

The Choice, Rose Drachler

The Liberties, Susan Howe

In Time, Robert Kelly

Songs for Jadina, Alan Lau

Traveling Light, Lionel Mitchell

Felita, Nicholasa Mohr

A Scent of Apples, Ben Santos


Tortuga, Rudolfo Anaya

Random Possession, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Mouth on Paper, Jayne Cortez

Hello, La Jolla, Ed Dorn

All I'm Asking for is My Body, Milton Murayama

Ceremony, Leslie Silko

Snake-Back Solos, Quincy Troupe

Future Preconditional, Douglas Woolf


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