(SAN ANTONIO) -The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2006 Stonewall Book Awards. Abha Dawesar, author of “Babyji” (Anchor Books), is the winner of the Barbara Gittings Book Award in Literature, and Joshua Gamson, author of “The Fabulous Sylvester: the Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco” (Henry Holt and Co.), is winner of the Israel Fishman Book Award for Nonfiction.
The announcement was made January 22 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, January 20-25. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Stonewall Awards. They will be presented to the winners at the 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 22-28.
“Babyji” is the coming of age story of Anamika Sharma, a brilliant, spirited, and sexually adventurous New Delhi, India, teenager. Anamika explores the unexpected terrain of her own sexuality and the mores of her traditional culture.
“Not since the character of Molly Bolt in Rita Mae Brown’s groundbreaking novel ‘Rubyfruit Jungle’ have we seen such a portrayal of an exuberant lesbian protagonist,” said Robert Jaquay, chair of the Stonewall Book Award Jury. Born in New Delhi, Dawesar graduated from Harvard. She is the author of another novel, “Miniplanner,” and is a winner of the NYFA Fiction Fellowship.
Gamson depicts the life and times of Sylvester James in “The Fabulous Sylvester: the Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco.” The book not only traces the rise and fall of this extraordinary singer who defined an age, but it portrays the arc of gay culture in San Francisco. Equally, “The Fabulous Sylvester,” illuminates African American and transgendered subcultures, which have always been an integral, if hidden, part of gay culture in America. The Boston Globe states, “[This book is] almost as engaging as the times it so energetically resurrects…Gamson’s account vibrantly reconstructs pre-AIDS San Francisco—the baths and bars, the dizzying sense of personal freedom, and the tragedies that followed.” Gamson is a professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco. He lives in Oakland, Calif.
The 2006 Stonewall honor books in literature are:
· “Acqua Calda” by Keith McDermott (Carroll & Graf)
· “The First Verse” by Barry McCrea (Carroll & Graf)
· “Mother of Sorrows” by Richard McCann (Pantheon)
· “The Wild Creatures: Collected Stories of Sam D’Allesandro” edited by Kevin Killian (Suspect Thoughts)
The 2006 Stonewall honor books in nonfiction are:
· “My One Night Stand with Cancer” by Tania Katan (Alyson)
· “Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 ” by Matt Houlbrook (Univ. of Chicago)
· “The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde” by Neil McKenna (Basic Books)
· “The Tragedy of Today’s Gays” by Larry Kramer (Tarcher/Penguin)
Members of the 2005 ALA Stonewall Book Award Committee are: Robert L. Jaquay, William K. Sanford Town Library, Colonie, N.Y.; Robin Imhof, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.; Mary Callaghan “Cal” Zunt, Cleveland Public Library, Ohio; Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado, Denver; Michael J. Miller, Queens College / CUNY; Lindsey Schell, University of Texas, Austin; Billy C. Beal, Meridian Community College, Miss.; Richard DiRusso, Tucson-Pima Public Library, Ariz.; Amy Hribar, MSU-Bozeman, Mont.; Rose M. Jackson, Portland State University, Ore.; Walter “Cat” Walker, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; and Elizabeth Briggs, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
The Stonewall Award, formerly called the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) Book Award, was established in 1971 and is the most enduring and oldest award of its kind. Each year the GLBTRT bestows two book awards: one for literature and one for nonfiction to “English-language books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgenderexperience.”
For additional information on the Stonewall Book Awards, please visit http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/stonewall/stonewallbook.htm.