Literary awards season

PEN USA has chosen the winners of its 2007 literary awards for writers and journalists in the West. Among the local winners is Cynthia Kadohata, who won in children's literature for Weedflower. Finalists in the journalism category include Dave Gardetta of Los Angeles Magazine for his piece "The Teenager & The Porn Star," David Zahniser for his gentrification study in the LA Weekly, Valeria Godines' series on her battle with bipolar disorder in the Orange County Register and LA Observed's own Jenny Price for "Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A." for Believer Magazine. The winner — and his piece must have been really good — was Jake Silverstein, a Texas Monthly senior editor whose story for Harper's was called "Highway Run." Full list after the jump; PEN has a banquet later in the year to award the prizes.

More finalists: L.A. area authors up for Southern California Book Awards later this year include LA Observed contributor Denise Hamilton, T.C. Boyle, Gustavo Arellano, Chris Nichols, Salvador Plascencia, Tom Nolan and Colleen Dunn Bates.

PEN USA Literary Awards 2007 Winners and Finalists


• The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle
• Washaka the Bear Dreamer by Jamie Lee
• The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
• Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Winner: Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata


• The Rainforest by Alicia Steimberg, trans. by Andrea G. Labinger
• Casablanca and Other Stories by Edgar Brau, trans. by Andrea G.
Labinger, Joanne M. Yates, and Donald A. Yates
• Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome: The Correspondence, trans. by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler

Winner: The Carving of Insects by Bian Zhilin, trans. by Mary M. Y. Fung and David Lunde


• If the Creek Don't Rise by Rita Williams
• West of Jesus by Steven Kotler
• Chameleon Days by Tim Bascom
• Blond Indian by Ernestine Hayes

Winner: The Horizontal World by Debra Marquart


• The Elephant's Child: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2005 by Steve Orlen
• The Totality for Kids by Joshua Clover
• What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison by Camille T. Dungy
• How Long She'll Last in This World by Maria Melendez

Winner: Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 by Ralph Angel


• The Omnivore's Dilemma A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
• Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides
• All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F. Stone by Myra MacPherson,
• The General and the Jaguar: Pershing's Hunt for Pancho Villa: A True Story of Revolution and Revenge by Eileen Welsome,

Winner: The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright


• The Great Gatsby by Simon Levy
• Chekhov and Maria by Jovanka Bach
• tempOdyssey by Dan Dietz
• Experiment Station Road by Gwen Mansfield

Winner: Mayakovsky Takes the Stage by Craig Volk


• Little Children by Todd Field and Tom Perrotta
• Little Miss Sunshine by Michael Amdt
• The Good Shepherd by Eric Roth

Winner: Stranger Than Fiction by Zach Helm


• Charles D‘Ambrosio, The Dead Fish Museum (Alfred A. Knopf)
• Ben Fountain, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories (HarperCollins Publishers)
• Cristina Henriquez, Come Together, Fall Apart (Riverhead Books / Penguin Group)
• Jess Walter, The Zero (Regan Books / HarperCollins)

Winner: Kevin Brockmeier, The Brief History of the Dead (Pantheon Books)


Winner: Mrs. Harris by Phyllis Nagy


• Dave Gardetta, The Teenager & The Porn Star (LA Magazine)
• Valeria Godines, Brainstorm (O.C. Register)
• Jenny Price, Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in LA (Believer Magazine)
• Mike Weiss, General: Life and Death (San Francisco Chronicle)
• David Zahniser, Welcome to Gentrification City (LA Weekly)

Winner: Jake Silverstein, Highway Run (Harper)

More by Kevin Roderick:
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Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
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LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
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Bestselling books of the week in SoCal stores
The other horrible April 29 date in Los Angeles history
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Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes

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