Eight Indiana Authors Awards winners announced

Eight books by Indiana authors have been awarded 2022 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards.

Chosen from among 40 shortlisted works published in 2020 and 2021 in eight categories, the winning submissions were written by a diverse collection of authors, all who currently live in Indiana.

From a deaf boy living during World War II to a queer monster love story about the dangers of empathy, from the inspiration of basketball legend Julius Erving to a young woman coming of age in small Indiana town, the stories and characters featured are deep and multifaceted.

The 2022 award-winning books are:

Debut: Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford of Indianapolis. A memoir about the complexity of childhood in a family fragmented by incarceration, the physical changes in adolescence that draw unwanted attention from men, and a journey to bring together the threads of identity to understand complicated familial love.

Fiction: The Town of Whispering Dolls by Susan Neville of Indianapolis. Stories about the residents of the rust belt town of Whispering Dolls, who dream of a fabled and illusory past even as new technologies reshape their world into something deeply strange.

Nonfiction: Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wroteby Craig Fehrman of Bloomington. The story of America’s presidents as authors. Addressing everything from beloved tomes to volumes lost to history, Author in Chief unearths insights about the presidents through their literary works and offers a window into their public and private lives.

Genre: Hollow Heart by Paul Allor of Indianapolis. A graphic novel that uses a queer monster love story to examine the choices we make between giving loved ones what they want and giving them what we think they need.

Poetry: Be Holding by Ross Gay of Bloomington. A lyrical appreciation of legendary basketball player Julius Erving — aka Dr. J — and how the imagination might bring us closer to one another.

Young Adult: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson of Indianapolis. The story of how a girl who has always believed she’s too Black, too poor and too awkward to shine in her small midwestern town makes her dreams come true.

Middle Grade: All He Knew by Helen Frost of Fort Wayne. A novel in verse inspired by true events surrounding a young deaf boy during World War II, the sister who loves him and the conscientious objector who helps him.

Children’s: Grace and Boxby Kim Howard of Bloomington. A picture book in which a young girl befriends a box and they go on lively adventures together.

Supported by Glick Philanthropies and powered by Indiana Humanities, the Indiana Authors Awards are conferred every other year. Honorees have the opportunity to participate in an annual statewide speaker program and connect with readers, teachers and students. 

“This year’s cohort of Indiana Authors Awards winners demonstrates the incredible depth and innovation in the state’s community of writers,” said Indiana Humanities president and CEO Keira Amstutz. “We are honored to partner with Glick Philanthropies to highlight the breadth and quality of works being written in Indiana, and to show the world that the Hoosier state is indeed a powerhouse literary state.”

Each winner receives $5,000, a hand-crafted limestone-and-steel award and the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.

“My parents were always big readers who believed in the power of literature to strengthen communities and the people who live in them,” said Marianne Glick, chair of the Glick Family Foundation and daughter of Eugene and Marilyn Glick. “They created the Indiana Authors Awards to lift up the role of reading in educating ourselves, as well as to honor books coming from our own authors.”

For more information on the Indiana Authors Awards, visit IndianaAuthorsAwards.org.

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