The winners for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association 2023 Northwest Book Awards have been announced.
The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) is a non-profit association of independent bookstores from five Northwest states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Since 1965, the annual Book Awards have recognized such luminary figures in Northwest literature as Ivan Doig, Ursula K. Le Guin, David James Duncan, Cheryl Strayed, Molly Gloss, Brian Doyle, Chuck Palahniuk, and Pete Fromm. Many of these authors were honored by PNBA before they received national attention. A history of past winners of the Pacific Northwest Book Award can be viewed on the Book Awards homepage. Nwbooklovers.org has coverage of books from past shortlists as well as announcements and essays from past award winners.
PNBA’s Awards Committee is comprised of nine volunteer booksellers from throughout our member region. This year’s Committee considered more than 370 nominated titles published during 2022 for a 2023 award. Here is the shortlist, which was announced in November.
Original essays by the winning authors will be published on this blog over the next several weeks, beginning next Friday, January 13.
by Jamie Ford
Great Falls, MT
A beautiful and ultimately hopeful story about family, legacy, hurt, and healing. Ford does an incredible job of weaving together the stories and trauma of seven generations of women, connecting their hope and heartbreak.
by Kim Fu
This collection reflects on family, coming of age, grief. relationships, and both the promise and uncertainty of the future. Each story is dynamic and thought provoking. It’s rare to encounter a collection where every selection stirs something inside. I simply couldn’t put this down. I hope it finds many readers in the PNW and beyond.
by Sasha taqwšәblu LaPointe
LaPointe takes us from her rough childhood and early punk rock days to graduate school and back. Her journey of self-discovery, including a commitment to live up to her namesake great-grandmother’s legacy as a tribal elder, results in a powerful book and ongoing life story as LaPointe channels legacy into her work as an artist and activist.
by J. Kenji López-Alt
The Wok is an beautiful introduction to and exploration of the pan that is certain to become the most versatile in your kitchen. Filled with trick sand technique, featuring thoughtful and scientific sidebars, and loaded to the rim with recipes and photos—whether a novice considering your first wok or a seasoned cook looking to up your game, you cannot go wrong with a teacher like Kenji!
by Putsata Reang
An excellently interwoven story of the refugee experience, Americanization of immigrant children, tension and trauma between mothers and daughters, and the lingering effects of war. With a journalist’s eye and a creative writer’s heart, Reang has crafted a memorable memoir with poignant lines to be permanently bookmarked.
by Caitlin Scarano
These poems burn slowly but searing, as readers are lulled into a sense of comfort in the exploration of the minutiae of everyday life only to be suddenly startled into a higher clarity. Complex and compelling, the collection reveals a connection to both the personal and universal experience