English Professor Danit Brown Wins Before Columbus Foundation Book Award for 2009
Written by Jake Weber
Albion College assistant professor of English Danit Brown added another honor to the critical acclaim received for her debut collection of short stories. Brown was recently awarded one of 12 Before Columbus Foundation (BCF) American Book Awards for 2009.
"I felt honored that the Before Columbus Foundation recognized my book, especially given that some writers I really admire have gotten this award in previous years, including John Edgar Wideman, Edwidge Danticat, Chris Ware, and Suzanne Paola, who was my professor when I was an undergraduate," said Brown. "I was also excited by the diversity of the voices this award represents, and the fact that it honors both creative and academic writing.
Brown's work, Ask for a Convertible, offers a series of glimpses into the life of Osnat Greenberg, an Israeli girl whose family moves to Michigan. Published in 2008 by Pantheon Press, Convertible received nationwide critical approval, including a spot on the New York Post's "Required Reading" list and Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" list.
The prestigious BCF American Book Award is distinguished by its mission to recognize excellence in American literature without restriction or bias with regard to race, sex, creed, cultural origin, size of press or ad budget, or even genre. There are no announced nominees, so there are no "losers." The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term "multicultural" to be not a description of various categories, groups, or "special interests, but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers' award given by other writers.
Related Story: Debut Story Collection Brings Acclaim to Brown