Holleran, Bechdel win 2007 Stonewall Book awards

Contact: Larra Clark/Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations
For Immediate Release
January 23, 2007

Holleran, Bechdel win 2007 Stonewall Book awards

SEATTLE - The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Stonewall Book Awards. Andrew Holleran, author of “Grief” (Hyperion), is the winner of the Barbara Gittings Book Award in Literature, and Alison Bechdel, author of “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” (Houghton Mifflin), is the winner of the Israel Fishman Book Award for Nonfiction.

The announcement was made January 21 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Stonewall Awards. They will be presented to the winners at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 25, 2007.

“Grief” is a first-person novel. Set in the nation’s capitol, the narrator attempts to reconcile the loss of a parent against the background of post-AIDS Washington. Meanwhile, he finds an unexpected emotional connection in the correspondence of Mary Todd Lincoln and a bittersweet friendship with his landlord, a gay contemporary.

Holleran, the acclaimed author of “Dancer from the Dance,” has consistently been a distinctive voice of the gay male experience, explains Stonewall Book Award Committee Chair Robin Imhof. “In ‘Grief,’ Holleran has captured not only the grief experienced by the gay community dealing with the AIDS epidemic, but also the human experience of loss.”

Bechdel’s graphic memoir, “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” is remarkable not only for its compellingly drawn characters but also for its poignant narration. Bechdel both literally and figuratively illustrates the many closets out of which a family must come in order to survive.

“In taking elements of the memoir and the graphic novel, Bechdel has produced a work that is as meticulously illustrated as it is rich in literary merit,” Imhof said.

Bechdel also is the creator of the award winning syndicated comic strip, “Dykes to Watch Out For,” which mirrors the triumphs and foibles of the GLBT community and contemporary American culture.

2007 Stonewall honor books in literature are:

“The Manny Files” by Christian Burch (Atheneum Books)

“The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters (Riverhead)

“Rose of No Man's Land” by Michelle Tea (MacAdam/Cage)

“The Scarecrow's Bible” by Martin Hyatt (Suspect Thoughts Press)

The 2007 Stonewall honor books in non-fiction are:

“Covering” by Kenji Yoshino (Random House)

“Gay Power: An American Revolution” by David Eisenbach (Carroll & Graf)

“Male-Male Intimacy in Early America” by William Benemann (Harrington Park Press)

“Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son” by Kevin Jennings (Beacon Press)

Members of the 2007 ALA Stonewall Book Award Committee are: Robin Imhof (Chair), University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.; Richard DiRusso (Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Tucson-Pima Public Library, Ariz.; Robert L. Jaquay (Immediate Past Chair), William K. Sanford Town Library, Colonie, N.Y.; Billy C. Beal, Meridian Community College, Meridian, Miss.; Amy Hribar, MSU-Bozeman, Mont.; Rose M. Jackson, Portland State University, Ore.; Walter “Cat” Walker, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; Elizabeth Briggs, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.. James Carmichael, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.; Beth Gallego, Los Angeles Public Library; James Simonis, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, N.Y. and Arla Jones, Lawrence High School, Lawrence, Kan.

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 non-fiction to “English-language books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.”

For additional information on the Stonewall Book Awards, please visit: http://www.ala.org/ala/glbtrt/stonewall/stonewallbook.htm.