SAN FRANCISCOSept. 15, 2022PRLog — Media contacts: Joyce Jenkins,, or Kim McMillon,


Northern California’s vibrant literary scene was celebrated on Sunday, September 11, 2022, 2:00 pm, at Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, Civic Center, San Francisco, when the 41st annual Northern California Book Awards recognized published works of 2021 by Northern California authors and California translators, presented by the Northern California Book Reviewers, Poetry Flash, and San Francisco Public Library, with our community partners Mechanics’ Institute Library, Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter, and PEN West. Medicine for Nightmares Bookstore & Gallery was the in-person bookseller. The event is always free and open to the public. The Northern California Book Awards were recorded to post on the San Francisco Public Library YouTube channel.

The California Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose honored works of translation by translators who live anywhere in California.

The Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement and Service was presented to Isabel Allende, a distinguished member of the Northern Californian literary community; she accepted via video. Winning authors accepted their awards and briefly presented their books. Winning and nominated books are available for purchase at the Northern California Book Awards 2022 online bookstore created by City Lights at Home – City Lights | City Lights Booksellers & Publishers (

Northern California reviewers and editors, members of Northern California Book Reviewers, select the awards. Membership is open to all eligible Northern California reviewers and editors. All of the nominated books, the NCBR Recommended Reading List, were acknowledged and celebrated at the ceremony. Judges’ statements by the Northern California Book Reviewers are posted on the NCBA page at


Isabel Allende

Bay Area-based Chilean writer and novelist; “the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author.” Violeta, a novel, Ballantine Books, 2022, The Soul of a Woman, memoir, Ballantine Books, 2021


Mule Kick Blues: And Last Poems, Michael McClure, edited with an introduction by Garrett Caples, City Lights, 2021


ZYZZYVA, A San Francisco Journal of Arts & Letters


My Year Abroad, Chang-rae Lee, Riverhead Books

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu, Tom Lin, Little, Brown and Company

The Confession of Copeland Cane, Keenan Norris, The Unnamed Press (winner) Chouette, Claire Oshetsky, Ecco

The Archer, Shruti Swamy, Algonquin Books


Tenderness, Derrick Austin, BOA Editions, Ltd.

A Symmetry, Ari Banias, W.W. Norton

Yellow Rain, Mai Der Vang, Graywolf Press (winner)

West Portal, Benjamin Gucciardi, The University of Utah Press

Requeening, Amanda Moore, Ecco

And If the Woods Carry You, Erin Rodoni, Southern Indiana Review Press


Her Honor: My Life on the Bench… What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It, LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, Celadon Books

Loving before Loving: A Marriage in Black and White, Joan Steinau Lester, University of Wisconsin Press

Model Citizen, Joshua Mohr, MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux (winner)

The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert, Shugri Said Salh, Algonquin Books The Night Lake: A Young Priest Maps the Topography of Grief, Liz Tichenor, Counterpoint


Czeslaw Milosz: A California Life, Cynthia L. Haven, Heyday

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, Michael Lewis, W.W. Norton

This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan, Penguin Press

Orwell’s Roses, Rebecca Solnit, Viking

By the Light of Burning Dreams: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Second American Revolution, David Talbot and Margaret Talbot, Harper (winner)


California Translation in Poetry

The New World Written: Selected Poems, Maria Baranda, edited and partially translated by Paul Hoover, from the Spanish, Yale University Press

The All-Seeing Eye: Collected Poems by Shang Qin, translated by John Balcom, from the Chinese, Cambria Press

The Blinding Star, Blanca Varela, translated by Lisa Allen Ortiz and Sara Daniele Rivera, from the Spanish, Tolsun Books (winner)

California Translation in Prose

Antonio, Beatriz Bracher, translated by Adam Morris, from the Portuguese, New Directions (winner)

I Was Never the First Lady, Wendy Guerra, translated by Alicia “Achy” Obejas, from the Spanish, HarperVia Battles in the Desert, José Emilio Pacheco, translated by Katherine Silver, from the Spanish, New Directions


Younger Readers

What Is Love?, Mac Barnett, illustrated by Carson Ellis, Chronicle Books

Home Is in Between, Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Lavanya Naidu, Farrar, Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan

Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas, Elizabeth Shreeve, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, Candlewick (winner)

Middle Grade

The Lion of Mars, Jennifer L. Holm, Random House Books for Young Readers Recipe for Disaster, Aimee Lucido, Versify

The Samosa Rebellion, Shanthi Sekaran, Katherine Tegen Books (winner)

Young Adult

Luck of the Titanic, Stacey Lee, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The Mirror Season, Anna-Marie McLemore, Feiwel & Friends (winner)

The Girls I’ve Been, Tess Sharpe, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers