The Oregon Book Awards were last night. I stayed home and read Meg Wolitzer's fantastic new novel The Interestings instead (Wolitzer's at Powell's tomorrow), but I am sure that everyone had a very schmoozy and pleasant evening, and reaffirmed their commitment to local literature. On to the winners:
Ismet Prcic's Shards snagged the Ken Kesey Award for fiction, and for good reason—it's a really great book that hasn't gotten as much local attention as it deserves. Shards is about art and memory and the Bosnian War; I reviewed it here.
Surprising no one, Cheryl Strayed won the Readers Choice Award for Wild. That category would've been much more interesting had there not been a best-selling Oprah's Book Club selection in the running.
Zachary Schomburg picked up the poetry award for his collection Fjords Vol 1. Fresh off the first co-release between his Octopus Books and Tin House, and a book award nominee in 2011, he's been a force in Portland poetry for a few years now, and his work is funny, fresh, and surprising. (If you ever get a chance to see him read, do it.)
Aaaaand in an interesting upset, Storm Large's Crazy Enough beat out Wild in the creative nonfiction category. I have no comment about that. I will leave you with this Amazon review of Crazy Enough:
Sex, drugs and rock and roll is what you'd expect from a rocker memoir. But like a true Creatrix, like the gifted whores of Babylon who peeled grapes and olives for their brazen consorts, Storm peels back the skin of sex, drugs and rock and roll to feed her readers the juicy flesh of true story. With the chaos of a dancing star, and the soul of a Sufi poet, Storm shatters the known and predictable with the hushed tones of a broken lullaby. Vulnerable, powerful and quivering with aliveness, the toothsome truth of what pulses beneath the surface of a throaty powerhouse is served up in Crazy Enough. Stroke. Lick. Savor. Then Devour it.
The full list of winners is after the jump.
ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
Allen Say of Portland
Drawing From Memory (Scholastic Press)
LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
Ruth Tenzer Feldman of Portland
Blue Thread (Ooligan Press)
FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
Kent Hartman of Portland
The Wrecking Crew (St. Martin's Press)
SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION
Storm Large of Portland
Crazy Enough (Free Press)
ANGUS L. BOWMER AWARD FOR DRAMA
Andrea Stolowitz of Portland
STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY
Zachary Schomburg of Portland
Fjords Vol 1 (Black Ocean)
KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION
Ismet Prcic of Portland
READERS CHOICE AWARD
Cheryl Strayed of Portland
STEWART H. HOLBROOK LITERARY LEGACY AWARD
Larry Colton of Portland
WALT MOREY YOUNG READERS LITERARY LEGACY AWARD
Oregon Battle of the Books