2024 Anisfield-Wolf Award Book Discussions

This fall, the Ohio Center for the Book is pleased to collaborate with Ursuline College and Case Western Reserve University in co-hosting a series of book discussions dedicated to the 2024 Anisfield-Wolf Award winners.

All sessions take place at 6:30 pm at Bookhouse Brewing in Cleveland.

Your Hosts

Dr. Jamie Hickner, Associate Director of the Baker-Nord Center and an Anisfield-Wolf Teaching Fellow at Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Valentino Zullo, Anisfield-Wolf Postdoctoral Fellow in English and Public Humanities at Ursuline College

Tuesday, September 17
2024 Award for Poetry
From From by Monica Youn

From From is a brilliant collection of poems lush with detail in its meditations on myth, history, popular culture, and art. With elegant precision, a vision both unflinching and clinical, Youn renders a harrowing examination of the self and society within the structures of language and culture narrowly constructed to contain and define—longstanding notions of racial difference and hierarchy, of belonging and otherness, Americanness and perpetual foreignness… From From is a major contribution, deepening our ongoing conversation about what it means to be an American.

Tuesday, October 15
2024 Award for Fiction
Tremor by Teju Cole

Tremor, a sinuous meditation on art and life, at once elegant and steely, tells the story of Tunde, an academic and artist – his specialty is photography – who hails from Nigeria, but now teaches in the US. An antiquing trip to Maine yields a traditional African mask, which leads him to wonder how it – and perhaps he – got there, prompting a wider consideration of the ethics of art. “What does it mean to care about art but not about the people who made that art?” he challenges his audience at a talk, but it’s a question he asks of himself as an artist, too. The result is an engagement with art – both deeply felt and deeply thought – that is itself a singular artistic achievement.

Tuesday, November 19
2024 Award for Nonfiction
The Rediscovery of America by Ned Blackhawk

The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History offers a sweeping yet fine-grained history of Indigenous peoples on the lands and waters that now make up the United States. With an astonishing array of detail drawn from years of research and an estimable depth and breadth of understanding, Ned Blackhawk demonstrates the critical importance of Native history not only to U.S. history, but also, and urgently, to Native Americans themselves. A rare and ambitious work that interprets a vast number of societies over five centuries to argue for a reorientation of the larger national narrative, this book invites readers into valuable conversations about the stakes of encounter across cultural difference.

Tuesday, December 17
2024 Award for Lifetime Achievement
Maxine Hong Kingston

Some of the most storied, and studied, lines of 20th-century American literature landed in 1976. They came from a math and English high school teacher living in Hawai’i. She was 35.

“You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father had all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.”

This opening to The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts is titled “No Name Woman.” The Woman Warrior garnered a rave from the influential New York Times critic John Leonard, won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle prize.