“How We Fight for Our Lives” and “Cantoras” win 2020 Stonewall Adult Awards
For Immediate Release
Program Coordinator, Community Engagement
PHILADELPHIA -- Two of the 2020 Stonewall Book Awards were announced Sunday, Jan. 26 by the Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits, held January 24-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience and include the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award (announced at the Youth Media Awards press conference on Monday, January 27th), the Stonewall Book Awards – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award, and the Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The awards will be presented to the winning authors at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago in June.
“How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir” by Saeed Jones and published by Simon & Schuster is the Stonewall Book Award – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award winner for 2020. “How We Fight for Our Lives” is a universally compelling memoir through the lens of a gay, Black man. Jones's writing style, both gritty and poetic, draws you in, and holds you close. Carving out his own place through introspection and interaction with family, community, and a racist, homophobic society, Jones shows us how we can not only survive, but fight for our lives.
Four Stonewall Book Awards – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Honor Books were named:
- “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, published by Lion Forge, an imprint of Oni Press.
- “I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World” by Kai Cheng Thom, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
- “In the Dream House: A Memoir” by Carmen Maria Machado, published by Graywolf Press.
- “She/He/They/Me: For the Sisters, Misters, and Binary Resisters” by Robyn Ryle, published by Sourcebooks.
The members of the 2020 Stonewall Book Awards - Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Committee are: Eric Hanshaw (Chair), Aisha Conner-Gaten, Kelly Kreps Depin, Tracy S. Drake, Michael C. Oliveira, Teresa Slobuski, Lynne Stahl, and Erica Jayne Williamson.
“Cantoras” by Carolina De Robertis and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House, was named the winner of the Stonewall Book Awards - Barbara Gittings Literature Award for 2020. “Cantoras” is a masterful look at queer love and community, particularly under a dictatorship, a time when even a whisper of nonconformity could mean your disappearance.
Four Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award Honor Books were named:
- “Lot: Stories” By Bryan Washington, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
- “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
- “Patsy” by Nicole Dennis-Benn, published by Liveright, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company.
- “War/Torn” by Hasan Namir, published by Book*hug Press.
The members of the 2020 Stonewall Book Awards - Barbara Gittings Literature Award Committee are: Dontaná McPherson-Joseph (Chair), Valerie Acklin, Kate Brunner, Samantha Helmick, Olivia Horvath, Lisa Johnston, Kristin Jones, Stephanie N. Noell, Dev Singer, Evan T. Struble, and Jennifer Collins.
The Rainbow Round Table (RRT) – formerly known as the GLBTRT - of the American Library Association, is the oldest professional association for LGBTQIA+ people in the United States. It is committed to serving the information needs of the LGBTQIA+ professional library community and information and access needs of individuals at large. It is home to Rainbow Book Month, a nationwide celebration every June, and the Stonewall Book Award, the first award honoring LGBTQIA+ books. The Rainbow Round Table is committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association and democratic institutions.