Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names won the Fiction and First Fiction awards, respectively, at the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, held at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on Friday night.
The awards opened the L.A. Times Festival of Books weekend, held annually on the USC campus near downtown Los Angeles.
Other winners included Marie Arana in the Biography category for Bolivar: American Liberator and Sheri Fink in the Current Interest category for Five Days at Memorial about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. J.K. Rowling, writing as Kenneth Galbraith, won the Mystery/Thriller award for The Cuckoo’s Calling. Austrian-born, Berlin-based graphic artist/writer Ulli Lust won in the Graphic Novel category for Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life.
Susan Straight won the Robert Kirsch Award for her body of fiction set in Southern California. Kirsch was the longtime book critic for the Times. His son Jonathan is a well-known writer and critic.
John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and other hugely popular Young Adult novels and a prolific video blogger with his brother Hank, received the Innovator’s Award.