33rd Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalists Announced

Today the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes announced the 2012 finalists for honors to be handed out at a public ceremony the evening of April 19th at the University of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium. The event is the prelude to the 18th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest public literary festival in the nation, to be held on USC's campus on April 20th and 21st.

The Book Prizes recognize 50 remarkable works in 10 categories. The complete list of finalists in biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult literature can be found at www.latimes.com/bookprizes.

Kevin Starr is the 33rd recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. Born and raised in San Francisco, Starr discovered the richness of California's past as a doctoral student at Harvard and set out to write a comprehensive history of the Golden State as American history. His resulting multi-volume series captured the enigmatic blend of dreams and hardscrabble reality that defines life in California and in 2009 he won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. In addition to his works as an author, Starr served as State Librarian for ten years and has been a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and, for the past several years, the University of Southern California.

"The study of California, in many ways, begins with what Kevin Starr has done," said Times book critic David L. Ulin. "His comprehensive overview is a baseline for the political, geological, social and cultural history of the state."

Writer and activist Margaret Atwood will receive the fourth annual Innovator's Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art. From her earliest works, in which Atwood established herself as a vanguard of feminist fiction, to such genre-blurring novels as "The Handmaid's Tale," she has always sought new ideas and forms of expression. Most recently, her engagement with and enthusiasm for social media, electronic publishing initiatives, and innovative outreach to her readers have made her a trendsetter in digital culture and inspire a new generation of fans and writers.

Tickets for the Book Prizes ceremony will be available for purchase at 10 a.m. Monday, March 29th, and additional information will be posted to www.latimes.com/festivalofbooks. Finalists and winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are selected by judging panels composed of writers who specialize in each genre. Further information about the Book Prizes including past winners is available at www.latimes.com/bookprizes.




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