John Zipperer, VP of Media & Editorial
The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2023 California Book Awards Honors 11 Outstanding Books by California Authors
Virtual Awards Ceremony: Monday, June 5 at 6 p.m.
Heartbroke, Chelsea Bieker, Catapult
Nightcrawling, Leila Mottley, Alfred A. Knopf
American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy's Forgotten Crisis, Adam Hochschild, Harper Collins
Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake,and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration, Elizabeth Partridge, Chronicle Books
Ophelia After All, Racquel Marie, Feiwel & Friends
Time Regime, Jhani Randhawa, Gaudy Boy
The High Sierra: A Love Story, Kim Stanley Robinson, Little, Brown and Company
CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLISHING
The Klamath Mountains: A Natural History, Edited by Michael Kauffmann and Justin Garwood, Backcountry Press
The Red Arrow, William Brewer, Alfred A. Knopf
Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands, Kelly Lytle Hernández, W.W. Norton
The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Doubleday
SAN FRANCISCO – (May 17, 2023) The Commonwealth Club has announced the winners of the 92nd annual California Book Awards. A virtual awards ceremony to recognize the winners will be held on June 5, at 6 p.m. For more information, please call (415) 597-6705.
“The California Book Awards jury is proud to announce our 2023 medalists,” says Gravity Goldberg, co-chair of the awards. “This year marks our 92nd anniversary: for more than nine decades we’ve honored the enormous creativity and energy of California writers and publishers. This year’s winning titles are ambitious, challenging and surprising. They provide a snapshot of our most pressing cultural issues and ideas and remind us of the importance of literature to a thriving democracy and to intellectual well-being.”
The California Book Awards’ Gold Medal in Fiction goes to Chelsea Bieker’s Heartbroke, a gritty, funny, moving collection of stories set in California’s Central Valley. The First Fiction Gold Medal goes to Leila Motley’s brutal, gripping, Oakland-set Nightcrawling; the First Fiction Silver Medal goes to William Brewer for his cerebral, picaresque The Red Arrow. In Nonfiction, Adam Hochschild wins the Gold Medal for his sweeping American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy's Forgotten Crisis. Our two Nonfiction Silver Medals go to Ingrid Rojas Contreras for her mystical, lyrical The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir; and to Kelly Lytle Hernández for her groundbreaking history, Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands. The Juvenile Gold Medal is awarded to Elizabeth Partridge for her haunting, eloquent Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration. The winner of the Young Adult Gold Medal is Racquel Marie for her buoyant, big-hearted Ophelia After All. The Poetry Gold Medal is awarded to Jhani Randhawa for their intricate, innovative collection, Time Regime. Our Californiana Award goes to Kim Stanley Robinson for his powerfully personal The High Sierra: A Love Story. Finally, our Contribution to Publishing Award goes to Backcountry Press for their handsome, encylopedic The Klamath Mountains: A Natural History.
Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. Eligible books must be written while the author is a resident in California, and they must be published during the year under consideration.
Over its 92 years, the California Book Awards have honored the writers who have come to define California to the world. Among them are John Steinbeck, Wallace Stegner, MFK Fisher, Thom Gunn, Richard Rodriquez, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joan Didion, Ishmael Reed, and Amy Tan. Recent award winners include C Pam Zhang, Hector Tobar, Susan Orlean, Rachel Kushner, Rachel Khong, Tommy Orange, Morgan Parker and Steph Cha.
Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Each year, the Club hosts hundreds of speeches, cultural events, and discussions on topics of regional, national and international interest.