*30th Annual Northern California Book Awards

Event detail

Celebrate the Bay Area's vibrant literary scene when the 30th annual Northern California Book Awards recognize the best published works of 2010. The awards honor the work of Northern California authors.  The featured speaker is Cody Award winner Tamim Ansary.   A book sale by Book Bay follows the event. For more information on the awards visit www.poetryflash.org or 510/525-5476.

Eligible books are divided into six categories: Fiction, General Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Children's Literature and Translation. Local critics read the books, discuss their merits and pick the winners. All of the nominated books are saluted at the ceremony, but six authors walk away with the honors.

The 2011 Northern California Book Award Nominees are:


•     Ivan and Misha, stories, Michael Alenyikov, TriQuarterly Books

•     Heidegger’s Glasses, Thaisa Frank, Counterpoint

•     Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, stories, Yiyun Li, Random House

•      Death is Not an Option, stories, Suzanne Rivecca, W.W. Norton

•     The More I Owe You, Michael Sledge, Counterpoint


•     Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Simon & Schuster

•     The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis, W. W. Norton

•     Maid as Muse: How Servants Changed Emily Dickinson’s Life and Language, Aife Murray, University Press of New England

•     Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, Robert B. Reich, Alfred A. Knopf

•           The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons, Richard Rhodes, Alfred A. Knopf


•     Not by Chance Alone: My Life as a Social Psychologist, Elliot Aronson, Basic Books

•     A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California, Laura Cunningham, Heyday

•     Cakewalk, a memoir, Kate Moses, The Dial Press

•     Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, Rebecca Solnit, University of California Press

•     Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean, Julia Whitty, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


•     Suck on the Marrow, Camille T. Dungy, Red Hen Press

•     Trace Archive: New & Selected Poems, Andrew Joron, City Lights

•     Writing the Silences, Richard O. Moore, University of California Press

•     Rough Honey, Melissa Stein, American Poetry Review

•     Pleasure, Brian Teare, Ahsahta Press

•     Come on All You Ghosts, Matthew Zapruder, Copper Canyon Press



•     Translation by Anne Milano Appel, Blindly, by Claudio Magris, from Italian, Penguin Group (Canada)

•     Translation by David Frick, A Thousand Peaceful Cities, by Jerzy Pilch, from

      Polish, Open Letter Books

•     Translation by Damion Searls, Comedy in a Minor Key, by Hans Keilson,

      from German, Farrar, Straus and Giroux


•     Translation by Kurt Beals, engulf—enkindle, by Anja Utler, from German, Burning Deck

•     Translation by Joshua Edwards, Ficticia, from Spanish, Shearsman Books

•     Translation by Cullen Goldblatt, The Rising of the Ashes, by Tahar Ben Jelloun, from French, City Lights Books

•     Translation by John Sakkis and Angelos Sakkis, Maribor, by Demosthenes Agrafiotis, from Greek, Post-Apollo Press


•     Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding, Jorge Argueta, illustrator Fernando Vilela, Groundwood Books/Libros Tigrillo

•     The Haunting of Charles Dickens, Lewis Buzbee, Feiwel and Friends

•     The Vinyl Princess, Yvonne Prinz, HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publishers

•     Other Goose: Re-Nurseried!! and Re-Rhymed!! Children’s Classics,

      J. Otto Seibold, Chronicle Books

•     Shooting Kabul, N.H. Senzai, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Paula Wiseman Books


Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Summi Kaipa, and Pireeni Sundaralingam, University of Arkansas Press



Afghan American writer, lecturer, editor and teacher, Tamim Ansary

Winner of last year’s nonfiction book award for Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary is also the author of West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story and a great many books for children. He was born in Afghanistan and lived there until high school when he won a scholarship to Colorado Rocky Mountain School.  He went on to attend Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Ansary gained prominence in 2001 after he penned a widely circulated e-mail that denounced the Taliban and called on the United States to bring political change to Afghanistan. His book West of Kabul, East of New York is a literary memoir recounting his bicultural perspective on contemporary world conflicts. West of Kabul, East of New York was San Francisco's One City One Book selection for 2008. Mr. Ansary also edited and published a group of essays by young Afghans entitled Snapshots: This Afghan American Life with funding from a 2008 grant from the Christianson Fund. In the middle of 2008 Mr. Ansary gave a series of lectures to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, associated with San Francisco State University, on the history and development of Islam. This series was rebroadcast on KALW Radio. Mr. Tamim moderates the San Francisco Writers Workshop in an attempt to give back to younger writers what was given to him when young. Tamim Ansary lives in San Francisco with his wife. They have two daughters.