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35th Annual Northern California Book Awards

Celebrating books published by Northern California authors in 2015

Winners announced Sunday, May 15, 2016
press release


Master of Ceremonies: Monologist Josh Kornbluth


Susan Griffin
Essayist, poet, novelist, playwright

Susan Griffin is an essayist, novelist, poet, and playwright. Often called an eco-feminist author, her time spent as a child in the High Sierras and along the coast of the Pacific Ocean shaped her awareness of the earth and ecology. She draws connections between the destruction of nature, racism, and the diminishment of women, tracing the causes of war to denial in both private and public life. Over fifty years, through twenty books, Susan Griffin has been making unconventional connections between seemingly disparate subjects. Whether pairing ecology and gender in her foundational work Woman and Nature, or focusing on private life with the targeting of civilians in A Chorus of Stones: the Private Life of War, she sheds a new light on many contemporary issues, including climate change, war, colonialism, the body, democracy, and terrorism. Other books include What Her Body Thought, Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy: the Autobiography of an American Citizen, and The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues. Among her honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Northern California Book Award for Nonfiction, an honorary doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Commonwealth Silver Award for Poetry. She has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2012 Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis for co-editing Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World, an anthology with contributions by authors from twenty-four countries.

Fortune Smiles: Stories, Adam Johnson, Random House
The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories, Anthony Marra, Hogarth
All This Life, Joshua Mohr, Soft Skull Press (WINNER)
After the Parade, Lori Ostlund, Scribner
Mendocino Fire: Stories, Elizabeth Tallent, Harper

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in The Vineyards of California, Frances Dinkelspiel, St. Martin's Press
The Full Severity of Compassion: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Chana Kronfeld, Stanford University Press
Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, Steve Silberman, Avery
The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, David Talbot, Harper (WINNER)
The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Princeton University Press

The Rainman's Third Cure: An Irregular Education, Peter Coyote, Counterpoint
Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, Jane Hirshfield, Alfred A. Knopf (WINNER)
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, W.W. Norton
Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God, Steven Nightingale, Counterpoint
Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater, Carey Perloff, City Lights Books

California's Wild Edge: The Coast in Poetry, Prints, and History by Tom Killion with Gary Snyder, Heyday

The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War, William T. Vollmann, Viking

Practicing the Truth, Ellery Akers, Autumn House
Alkali Sink, Stella Beratlis, Sixteen Rivers Press
Red Epic, Joshua Clover, Commune Editions
Notes on the Assemblage, Juan Felipe Herrera, City Lights Books
Times Beach, John Shoptaw, University of Notre Dame Press (WINNER)
This Present Moment, Gary Snyder, Counterpoint

Like Family, Paolo Giordano, translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel, Pamela Dorman Books
The Complete Stories, Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson, New Directions (WINNER)
The Dream of My Return, Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated from Spanish by Katherine Silver, New Directions
Description of a Flash of Cobalt Blue, Jorge Esquinca, translated from the Spanish by Dan Bellm, Unicorn Press
Marie de France, Marie de France, translated and edited from the medieval French by Dorothy Gilbert, Norton Critical Editions (WINNER)
Face to Face with Dreams, Ziaeddin Torabi, translated from the Farsi by Parisa Samadi, Ad Lumen Press

Younger Readers
It's Only Stanley, Jon Agee, Dial Books
Leo: A Ghost Story, Mac Barnett, illustrator Christian Robinson, Chronicle Books
The Wolf Who Ate the Sky, Mary Daniel Hobson and Anna Isabel Rauh, illustrator Charles Hobson, Heyday
In a Village By the Sea, Muon Van, illustrator April Chu, Creston Books (WINNER)
Older Readers
Delicate Monsters, Stephanie Kuehn, St. Martin's Griffin (WINNER)
Rad American Women A–Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History…and Our Future! Kate Schatz, illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl, City Lights Books
Every Last Word, Tamara Ireland Stone, Disney-Hyperion
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir, Razorbill

The Northern California Book Awards are presented and sponsored by Northern California Book Reviewers, Poetry Flash, PEN West, Mechanics' Institute Library, Women's National Book Association-SF Chapter, San Francisco Public Library, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and Readers Bookstore at the Main.

The winners in each category were announced at the Awards ceremony on May 15, 2016. For more information:, 510.525.5476,

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