Cleveland Foundation Announces Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, given out by the Cleveland Foundation, recognize books that have made important contributions to the understanding of racism and the appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice.

The Cleveland Foundation recently announced five winners of this year’s awards which will be given out in September. Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. served as chair of the selection committee.

Nicole Krauss of Brooklyn, New York, won in the fiction category for her third, novel Great House.

Also a winner in the fiction category was Mary Helen Stefaniak for her novel The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia.

Isabel Wilkerson was a winner in the nonfiction category for The Warmth of Other Suns, an account of the Great Migration of African Americans from the South in the early twentieth century. Wilkerson is now a professor of journalism at Boston University. In 1994, while working for the New York Times, she was the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Also winning in the nonfiction category was the Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory University, and David Richardson, director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation and professor of history at Hull University in England.

Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award is John Edgar Wideman, Asa Messer Professor and Professor of Africana Studies and English at Brown University. A 1963 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wideman was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and later as a MacArthur Fellow. He is the author of 13 novels, six collections of short stories, and two memoirs.