Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Counternarratives Wins an American Book Award

I am elated to announce that Counternarratives has received a 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation (BCF).  When I remember this book's long journey to publication, and meditate on the aims of this vitally important literary and cultural organization and all the books and authors it has honored in the past, including my MFA colleague, poet, memoirist, fiction writer, and critic Rigoberto González, I consider this be one of the highest honors possible.

Congratulations also go to all of this year's other recipients, and an especial congrats to two other honorees affiliated with Rutgers-Newark: my colleague Lyra Monteiro, an assistant professor of history, who received the Walter and Lillian Lowenfels Prize for Criticism for her essay on the play Hamilton, and journalist Nick Turse, author of Tomorrow's Battlefield: US Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa (Haymarket Books), who received an MA in history from RU-N in 1999. 

About the three of us, BCF chairman Justin Desmangles said:
“We are proud to honor the work of John Keene, whom we regard as among the most innovative and exciting writers in America today. The richness and fertility of his imagination coupled with the elegance of his prose produce a unique literary experience. In addition, we consider Lyra Montiero's critical perspectives to be both vital and courageous. Her rigorous, inventive, and powerfully deciphering analysis of “Hamilton,” the musical, was a much-needed antidote to the toxic commercial hyperbole. Finally, Nick Turse's efforts to expose secret U.S. military operations in Africa should be regarded as heroic. At BCF, we consider Turse to be in the tradition of the greatest journalists, penetrating the subterfuge and excavating information and perspectives otherwise missing or ignored.
Below is the official announcement from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Again, many thanks to them, and to everyone who helped make this book possible!

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