Watch that ‘Sparrow’ fly: Indie Lit Award winners announced

After a few months of heavy behind-the-scenes action (but not that kind — goodness, me!), I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Indie Lit Awards have been announced! I was thrilled to serve on the Fiction panel for the second year in a row and loved discussing the merits of our five shortlisted nominees with my lovely fellow panelists.

I know it’s cheesy, but I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across a bookish world where my obsession with the written word is something to really cherish. Where monikers like “geek” are embraced and novels sometimes feel more real to us than “real life.” The friends I’ve made through blogging aren’t “blogging friends” — they’re as much a part of my daily life as those in . . . well, in my daily life. And I feel very lucky to know and work with all of you, sharing in the books you both love and despise. Being on the Fiction panel has been a wonderful experience, and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity!

That being said, there was a book everyone on the Fiction panel lovingly embraced: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, which was one of the most evocative, engrossing and stunning stories I’ve read in a long time. Like last year’s winner, Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye, I don’t know that I would have discovered this story on my own — and that’s what makes the Indie Lit Awards so much fun.

My full review of Silver Sparrow is coming soon, but suffice it to say that Jones’ characters are not easily forgotten — and this is the sort of story that drifts back to you days or months after finishing, like the haunting final line of a song.


2011 Indie Lit Award Winners

Biography/Memoir
Winner: Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Runner-Up: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

GLBTQ
Winner: Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger
Runner-Up: Huntress by Malinda Lo

Fiction
Winner: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Runner-Up: Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney

Mystery
Winner: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Runner-Up: Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski

Non-Fiction
Winner: Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Runner-Up: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe

Poetry
Winner: Catalina by Laurie Soriano
Runner-Up: What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman

Speculative Fiction
Winner: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Runner-Up: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Congratulations to the winners and all nominees, and thanks to the Indie Lit Awards team for another great year!


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8 thoughts on “Watch that ‘Sparrow’ fly: Indie Lit Award winners announced

  1. Ni hao Meg! I only discovered your blog the other day but I instantly became a ‘follower’ and am enjoying back reading your reviews.
    I am reasonably bookish myself, but have never come across the genre ‘Speculative Fiction’ before – what is it? can you give me some examples of books that are SF – oh hang on a minute, is this a new name for Science Fiction?
    If you should ever want to read about China, or Chinese fiction translated into English try me – I have a page on my blog on this.
    Really looking forward to getting hold of some of the Indie Lit titles…thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    • Ni hao! 🙂 To my understanding, speculative fiction is a rather broad category that combines many different genres in one — and is commonly associated with dystopian fiction, which is the fictional creation of a nightmare world. These types of stories can often be called science fiction, too, though not necessarily! It can get a little tricky. I don’t read much speculative fiction myself, though I have picked up quite a few dystopians in my day! My favorite is Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ll definitely check out your page, too — I’ve never read Chinese fiction translated into English, but would be quite interested in checking it out.

  2. I feel the same way–so much fun to be involved in the awards, but just as much–so wonderful to be introduced to books I probably wouldn’t read otherwise. I need to look into the winners of the other categories–some of them I’ve had my eye on and other I hadn’t heard of.

  3. I don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet. It certainly has been in my face for a long time. And I would have to agree with you. My bloggy friends are my friends period. Some are local and some are not, but it is a tight group of people and I’m so blessed to be a part of the community.

  4. I know it was an awful lot of work to read and review, and I feel grateful and honored to have had my book, Dance Lessons, chosen as the winner up. Silver Sparrow is top on my list to read. Thanks.

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