NEW YORK – Maxine Hong Kingston, Darryl Pinckney and the late bell hooks were among the authors honored this year by the Before Columbus Foundation, a nonprofit co-founded by Ishmael Reed that celebrates multicultural literature.
Established in 1976, the Before Columbus Foundation each year presents American Book Awards to both fiction and nonfiction writers. Kingston, best known for her memoir “The Woman Warrior,” received a lifetime achievement prize. Pinckney was cited for his memoir “Come Back in September,” and hooks, who died in 2021, was given a special award for criticism.
On Tuesday, the foundation also announced awards for Ayanna Lloyd Banwo's novel “When We Were Birds,” Leila Mottley's “Nightcrawling: A Novel,” Everett Hoagland's poetry collection “The Ways” and Bojan Louis' “Sinking Bell: Stories." Other winners included Edgar Gomez's memoir “High Risk Homosexual”; Aidan Levy's biography of jazz great Sonny Rollins, “Saxophone Colossus”; Kelly Lytle Hernández's nonfiction "Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands"; and Javier Zamora's “Solito: A Memoir.”
Previous recipients of American Book Awards include Gayl Jones, Ayah Akhtar and Ocean Vuong.