Awards, Literature

Seth Lerer wins the 2010 Truman Capote Award

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Seth Lerer, author of Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter has won the 2010 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. Lerer’s book—a comprehensive survey of children’s literature, from Aesop’s Fables to Harry Potter—offers a fascinating exploration of the various ways that tales like these have helped shape the Western literary imagination. According to the award press release:

“The book is also a kind of ‘intellectual autobiography,” touching on Lerer’s own youthful passion for reading and his experience as a parent. “I thought about it from a personal view, watching how my son grew into a reader,” he said.
Maria Tatar of Harvard University called the book “a breathtakingly powerful and complex history of children’s literature that energizes rather than depletes.”
“Lerer gives us the facts” Tatar said, “but he also weaves experiences and stories into an account that moves in registers ranging from the ecstatic to the elegiac. An ideal guide for students new to the field of children’s literature as well as for scholars familiar with the territory.”

The award, administered by the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, will be presented during a public event at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI campus. Lerer will speak on “Criticism and the Classroom,” and a reception will follow.
For more details read the press release.
For more about the book read this excerpt.