Lambda Literary Foundation Promises Gala BEA Event

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The Lambda Literary Foundation will announce the winners of the 16th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, or "Lammies," honoring a diverse range of distinguished voices in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) publishing, at what promises to be a festive and lively ceremony at the Chicago Mart Plaza on Thursday, June 3, 2004, in conjunction with BookExpo America. An author reception will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the awards dinner and ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. Jim Marks, executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, told BTW, "We are very excited about returning to Chicago. The event should draw at least 300 people."

This year, 100 finalists are recognized in 20 categories, including best lesbian and gay men's fiction, poetry, mystery, and biography. Marks commented that he hopes the offering of many fine titles "will draw attention to the great variety and depth of GLBT writing that is published each year." The recipient of this year's Bridge Builder Award, which honors contributors to gay and lesbian literature as well as their work on GLBT issues, will go to African-American novelist E. Lynn Harris. Harris' first nonfiction work, his 2003 memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Doubleday) sold over three million copies.

"Since the publication of his first novel, Invisible Life (Anchor), E. Lynn Harris has become one of the nation's most widely read and best loved African-American authors," said Marks. "His novels have always presented gay and bisexual characters as well-rounded and fully human beings. The publication of his memoir, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, seemed an especially appropriate time to recognize his achievement, since the book documents how his life and career took off after he was able to overcome internalized homophobia and gain self-acceptance."

Tickets are $125 for the dinner ($100 if purchased by March 31); $175 for the dinner and author reception ($145 if purchased by March 31); and $295 for a VIP Ticket, which includes the author reception, preferred seating, and a name in the program. Ticket orders may be placed through the Web site at

Supporters of the Lambda Literary Awards include the American Booksellers Association, The Haworth Press, and The Pilgrim Press.

Below are the finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards in the categories of Lesbian Fiction and Gay Men's Fiction. For the complete list of finalists, visit --Karen Schechner

Lesbian Fiction

And Then They Were Nuns by Susan J. Leonardi (Firebrand Books)
Southland by Nina Revoyr (Akashic Books)
The Way the Crow Flies by Anne-Marie MacDonald (HarperCollins)
This Wild Silence by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (Alyson Publications)
What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo (Curbstone Press)

Gay Men's Fiction

Beijing by Philip Gambone (University of Wisconsin Press)
Lives of the Circus Animals by Christopher Bram (Morrow)
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong (Houghton Mifflin)
War Against the Animals by Paul Russell (St. Martin's)
Where the Boys Are by William J. Mann (Kensington)