Regional books: Midwest

This from Shelf Awareness:

The winners of the 2008 Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Awards, which honor authors from the Midwest Booksellers Association region and books about the region:

• Fiction: Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan (Ballantine)
• Nonfiction: Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (Bantam)
• Poetry: Valentines: Poems by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Robert Hanna (University of Nebraska Press)
• Children’s Picture Book: Agate: What Good Is a Moose? by Joe Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson (Lake Superior Port Cities)
• Children’s Literature: Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker (Candlewick Press)

Honor Books
• Fiction (tie): So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly Press) and Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen (Penguin)
• Nonfiction: The Florist’s Daughter: A Memoir by Patricia Hampl (Harcourt)
• Poetry: Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems by Deborah Keenan (Milkweed Editions)
• Children’s Picture Book: Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ilbatoulline (Candlewick Press)
• Children’s Literature: The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson (Greenwillow Books)

The Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Awards will be presented September 25 during the MBA annual trade show in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This is interesting to me for several reasons: Most regional fiction I’ve heard about is Southern literature. I grew up in the Midwest, but I didn’t even know there were so many books written in and/or about that lesser-known region. Sure, I knew that some authors live there, and there’s perhaps one? famous author of years past (I’m thinking of Willa Cather; can you add to this meager “list”? ) who hailed from the region, but I haven’t heard of nor read many books of this part of the country.

Now — when I live in an area on the cusp of two regions, technically in a Southern state but in an area with several of the characteristics of the Midwest — fiction tied to a region is quite interesting to me.


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