I guess the lede from Friday night's Los Angeles Times Book Prizes ceremony is that Jennifer Egan and "A Visit From the Goon Squad" won in fiction over Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" (and three other finalists.) Egan, who also won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, was in the house at the Times' Harry Chandler Auditorium and remarked how she enjoyed visiting Los Angeles and wished there was a way to combine it with New York to create the perfect place to live. Neither Laura Hillenbrand, who won for her biography of local hero Louis Zamperini, and Michael Lewis, who won in nonfiction for "The Big Short," could make it to L.A. for their prizes. Lewis sent a video message saying it was the first book prize he had won and got a laugh from the crowd of a few hundred (which included Patti Smith) when he concluded with "Good night, and may all of your speeches be short." A reception followed upstairs in the atrium of the former Times Mirror corporate headquarters, now mostly empty and used often for TV and film location shoots — including the company's former board of directors suite where I and other ex-Times staffers noted the portrait of Otis Chandler still hangs on the wall.
Beverly Cleary, the children's author who created Henry Huggins and other beloved characters, received the 2010 Robert Kirsch Award, which has been given out now for 31 years in honor of the late novelist, editor, teacher and Times critic. Powell's Books in Portland won the Innovator's Award, accepted by the store's father and daughter executive team.
Full list of winners is after the jump. Prizes website.
Winners posted by the Times:
•Nonfiction: Michael Lewis, "The Big Short" (W.W. Norton)
•Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: Peter Bognanni, "The House of Tomorrow" (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)
•Biography: Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience & Redemption" (Random House)
•Graphic Novel: Adam Hines, "Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One" (AdHouse Books)
•History: Thomas Powers, "The Killing of Crazy Horse" (Knopf)
•Mystery-Thriller: Tom Franklin, "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" (William Morrow)
•Poetry: Maxine Kumin, "Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010" (W. W. Norton & Company)
•Science & Technology: Oren Harman, "The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness" (W. W. Norton & Company)
•Young Adult Literature: Megan Whalen Turner, "A Conspiracy of Kings" (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)