Chris Bohjalian, Howard Zinn, Leonard Everett Fisher, and University Press of New England were named as the 2002 winners of the New England Book Awards, announced Rusty Drugan, executive director of the New England Booksellers Association (NEBA). Drugan said that the awards will be presented on Sunday, September 29, at the Breakfast with New England Book Award Winners during the NEBA trade show in Providence, Rhode Island.
Each author award is accompanied by a $500 grant from NEBA to a literacy organization chosen by the winner. The awards have been presented annually since 1990 to regional authors and publishers who have produced a body of work that stands as a significant contribution to New England's literature.
Chris Bohjalian won the 2002 award for fiction. He is the author of eight novels, including the bestselling, NEBA Discover selection Midwives (Vintage). He is also the author of numerous magazine pieces and is a longtime columnist for Gannett's Burlington [Vermont] Free Press. His most recent book is Buffalo Soldier (Crown).
For nonfiction, radical historian Howard Zinn won the award for his magazine articles and numerous books on history, including his bestselling A People's History of the United States (Perennial) and Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (Perennial). His most recent book is Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor's Last Century, co-written with Dana Frank and Robin D.G. Kelley (Beacon Press). He is professor of political science emeritus at Boston University.
Leonard Everett Fisher won the award for children. Fisher is the author and illustrator of many award-winning picture books, including The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (Holiday House), Stars and Stripes: Our National Flag (Holiday House), and Theseus and the Minotaur (Holiday House). He is also an accomplished painter, illustrator, designer, and educator. He is dean emeritus of Paier College of Art in Connecticut.
The publishing award was given to University Press of New England. Founded in 1970 and based at Dartmouth College, University Press of New England is supported by a consortium of schools: Brandeis University, Middlebury College, University of New Hampshire, Tufts University, and Dartmouth. The publishing program reflects strengths in the humanities; liberal arts; fine, decorative, and performing arts; literature; New England culture; and interdisciplinary studies. Its Hardscrabble imprint publishes "fiction of New England."
NEBA, representing over 400 regional independent bookstores, selected the awards by committees. The winners were drawn from nominations submitted by any NEBA member.
The Adult Awards Committee included the following: Chair, Donna Urey, White Birch Books, North Conway Village, NH; Henry Berliner, Foundry Bookstore, New Haven, CT; Caroline DeMaio, Northern Lights Bookshop and Café, St. Johnsbury, VT; Allan Schmid, Books, Etc., Portland, ME; Anne Whalen, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA.
The winner for Children's Literature was selected by the Awards Committee of the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA): Chair, Nikki Mutch, U-Conn Coop, Storrs, CT; Janet Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, MA; Elizabeth Bluemle, The Flying Pig Bookstore, Charlotte, VT; Sue Carita, Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH; Terri Schmitz, Children's Book Shop, Brookline, MA.