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Winner: The Odyssey Of Echo Company

The Society of Midland Authors announces its choices Monday for its annual awards, honoring the best books by Midwest authors published in 2017. In each category, a panel of literary judges chose a winner, as well as one or more honorees whose work was also deemed worthy of recognition. The Society will present the awards May 8 in Chicago.


WINNER: Doug Stanton, The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War. (Stanton lives in Traverse City, Michigan.)

See also: It's An Extraordinary Time To Be Traverse City Author Doug Stanton.


* Bonnie Rochman, The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids - and the Kids We Have. (Rochman grew up in Missouri; she now lives in Seattle.)

* Lindsey Fitzharris, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine. (Fitzharris grew up in Mount Prospect; she now lives in Great Doddington, United Kingdom.)

* Rich Cohen, The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse. (Cohen is a Glencoe native; he now lives in New York.)

The judges for Adult Nonfiction were Mervin Block, Jim Schwab and Joyce Burns Zeiss.



WINNER: Jonathan Eig, Ali: A Life. (Eig lives in Chicago.)


* Donna Seaman, Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists. (Seaman lives in Chicago.)

* A. James Fuller, Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction. (Fuller lives in Monrovia, Indiana.)

* David A. Nichols, Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign Against Joseph McCarthy. (Nichols lives in Winfield, Kansas.)

The judges for Biography & Memoir were Bob Remer, Taylor Pensoneau and James Plath.



WINNER: Sharon Solwitz, Once, in Lourdes. (Solwitz lives in Chicago.)


* Curtis Dawkins, The Graybar Hotel. (Dawkins lives at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan.)

Lesley Nneka Arimah, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky. (Arima lives in Minneapolis.)

Ben Greenman, Don Quixotic. (Greenman was born in Chicago and attended graduate school at Northwestern University; he now lives in Ridgewood, New York.)

The judges for Adult Fiction were Anne Calcagno, Eckhard Gerdes and Amy Hassinger.



WINNER: Erika L. Sanchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. (Sanchez lives in Chicago.)


* Aaron Reynolds, Creepy Pair of Underwear! (Reynolds lives in Fox River Grove.)

* Natasha Tarpley, The Harlem Charade. (Tarpley lives in Chicago.)

* Helen Frost, When My Sister Started Kissing. (Frost lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.)

The judges for Children's Fiction were Debbi Chocolate, Shari Frost and Brian E. Wilson.



WINNER: Mary Losure, Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd. (Losure lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.)


* Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat, Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz. (The authors are former Illinois residents who now live in New Jersey.)

* Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon. (Greenberg lives in St. Louis; Jordan was raised in Cleveland and lives in New York City.)

The judges for Children's Nonfiction were Marlene Targ Brill, Lisa Holton and Patrick McBriarty.



WINNER: Marcus Wicker, Silencer. (Wicker was raised in Ann Arbor; he now lives in Memphis.)


* Jim Daniels, Rowing Inland. (Daniels was born in Detroit and now lives in Pittsburgh.)

* Erin Adair-Hodges, Let's All Die Happy. (Adair-Hodges lives in Toledo.)

The judges for Poetry were Linda Nemec Foster, Robert Sutherland and Bill Yarrow.



WINNER: Adam Morgan, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Review of Books, a contributing writer at Chicago magazine, and a book critic for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.



The annual awards dinner will take place Tuesday, May 8, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan, 22nd floor. A reception with cash bar begins at 6 p.m. followed by the dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 each. Reservations can by made by PayPal or check at

The Society, founded in 1915 by a group of authors including Hamlin Garland, Harriet Monroe and Vachel Lindsay, has given out annual awards since 1957. The juried competition is open to authors who live in, were born in, or have strong ties to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 9, 2018

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