The Cleveland Foundation has announced the winners of the 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Awards, given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year that “confront racism and examine diversity.” The winners will be honored at a ceremony in Cleveland on September 7.
The winners are Tyehimba Jess in poetry for Olio (Wave Books), Margot Lee Shetterly in nonfiction for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (William Morrow), and Peter Ho Davies and Karan Mahajan in fiction for The Fortunes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and The Association of Small Bombs (Penguin), respectively. Isabel Allende received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Jess, Shetterly, and Allende will each receive $10,000; Davies and Mahajan will split the $10,000 fiction prize.
“The new Anisfield-Wolf winners broaden our insights on race and diversity,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., who chairs the jury. “This year, we honor a breakthrough history of black women mathematicians powering NASA, a riveting novel of the Asian American experience, a mesmerizing, poetic exploration of forgotten black musical performance and a spellbinding story of violence and its consequences. All is capped by the lifetime achievement of Isabel Allende, an unparalleled writer and philanthropist.” Gates, along with Rita Dove, Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Pinker, and Simon Schama, judged the prize.
Established in 1935, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have honored 236 writers, including Nobel laureates Gunnar Myrdal, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, and Derek Walcott.