American Book Award Winners

Before Columbus Foundation Logo First presented in 1980, by the Before Columbus Foundation, “the American Book Awards Program respects and honors excellence in American literature without restriction or bias with regard to race, sex, creed, cultural origin, size of press or ad budget, or even genre. There would be no requirements, restrictions, limitations, or second places. There would be no categories. The winners would not selected by any set quota for diversity, because diversity happens naturally. Finally, there would be no losers, only winners. The only criteria would be outstanding contribution to American literature in the opinion of the judges.”

Here we present the American Book Award recipients of African descent.


3 Books Honored in 2015

Fiction

A Brief History Of Seven Killings: A Novel
by Marlon James

Publication Date:
List Price: $28.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 704
ISBN13: 9781594486005
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of A Brief History Of Seven Killings: A Novel



Book Description: 
Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

A recipient of the 2015 American Book Award

Named a best book of the year by:
The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, The Houston Chronicle, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Popsugar, BookPage, BuzzFeed Books, Salon, Kansas City Star, L Magazine.

rom the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a “musical, electric, fantastically profane” (The New York Times) epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over the past three decades.

In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivaled skills of characterization and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumors abound regarding the assassins’ fates, and there are suspicions that the attack was politically motivated.

A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. James deftly chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters gunmen, drug dealers, one-night stands, CIA agents, even ghosts over the course of thirty years as they roam the streets of 1970s Kingston, dominate the crack houses of 1980s New York, and ultimately reemerge into the radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Along the way, they learn that evil does indeed cast long shadows, that justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and that no one can truly escape his fate.

Gripping and inventive, shocking and irresistible, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a mesmerizing modern classic of power, mystery, and insight.



Nonfiction

The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My Unalienable Right
by Peter J. Harris

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Imprint: Black Man of Happiness Project
Publisher: Black Man of Happiness Project
Parent Company: Black Man of Happiness Project

Read a Description of The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My Unalienable Right



Book Description: 

“… brilliant … beautiful …funny … moving … [a book] to change people by working on something even deeper than anger: their inner joy, their love of life!”

Peter J. Harris’ jazzy journal is full of unique, dynamic stories that range in scope from Thomas Jefferson’s era to the Digital Age in search of answers to the simple, startling question, What is a happy Black man? In powerful, poetic essays Harris explores his journey from childhood in Southeast D.C. to adulthood as a nationally published writer, educator, and respected cultural worker in LA.





Nonfiction

The Moor’s Account
by Laila Lalami

Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780804170628
Imprint: Vintage Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of The Moor’s Account



Book Description: 
**PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST**
**NOMINATED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE**
**WINNER OF THE AMERICAN BOOK AWARD**

A New York Times Notable Book
A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Book of the Year
An NPR Great Read of 2014
A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the Year

In these pages, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America: Mustafa al-Zamori, called Estebanico. The slave of a Spanish conquistador, Estebanico sails for the Americas with his master, Dorantes, as part of a danger-laden expedition to Florida. Within a year, Estebanico is one of only four crew members to survive.
As he journeys across America with his Spanish companions, the Old World roles of slave and master fall away, and Estebanico remakes himself as an equal, a healer, and a remarkable storyteller. His tale illuminates the ways in which our narratives can transmigrate into history—and how storytelling can offer a chance at redemption and survival.