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Geraldine Brooks, Saeed Jones win Anisfield-Wolf prize

NEW YORK (AP) — Novels by Geraldine Brooks and Lan Samantha Chang and poetry by Saeed Jones are among this year’s winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, presented for literature “that confronts racism and explores diversity.” The journalist and activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault was honored for lifetime achievement.

Besides Brooks’ “Horse,” Chang’s “The Family Chao” and Jones’ “Alive at the End of the World,” judges also cited Matthew F. Delmont’s nonfiction “Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad,”

“These remarkable books deliver groundbreaking insights on race and diversity,” jury chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. said in a statement Monday. “This year, we honor a profound and funny novel (‘The Family Chao’) centered in a Chinese restaurant, a brilliant story (‘Horse’) of 19th-century horseracing with contemporary echoes, a stunning poetry collection that captures who we are now, and a meticulous history that recasts our understanding of World War II. All are capped by the lifetime achievement of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who remade this country with her courage and her nuanced reporting.”

Previous winners of the Anisfield-Wolf awards, established in 1936, include the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer and Zadie Smith.

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