The New Press Wins Two American Book Awards

Friday, October 26, 2018

Two New Press titles, The Dawn of Detroit by Tiya Miles and Beasts of Burden by Sunaura Taylor, were named 2018 American Book Award winners, cited as “outstanding literary achievement[s] from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community” by the Before Columbus Foundation, which sponsors the awards.

The Dawn of Detroit, a paradigm-shifting book that “transports the reader back to the eighteenth century and brings to life a multiracial community that began in slavery” (New York Times), explores the little-known role that slavery played in the history of the Midwest’s iconic city. In addition to the American Book Award, The Dawn of Detroit has won both the Merle Curti Award and the James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, as well as the Michigan Notable Books Award and the SHEAR James Bradford Biography Prize. It is a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and is nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Beasts of Burden focuses on the intersection of the disability and animal rights movements and draws on the author’s own experiences as a disabled person, a disability activist, and an animal advocate. Taylor persuades us to think deeply, and sometimes uncomfortably, about what divides the human from the animal, the disabled from the nondisabled—and what it might mean to break down those divisions—to claim the animal and the vulnerable in ourselves, in a process she calls “crippling animal ethics.” 

The American Book Awards will be formally conferred in a public ceremony at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco on Sunday, October 28, at 12:00 p.m.