UPDATE: Colorado Book Awards: Farber wins

Posted by Kirsten Akens on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Thanks for hanging in there with us. It took a few days, but we were able to get a hold of a complete list of the 2011 Colorado Book Awards winners, including local Kirk Farber and his Postcards From a Dead Girl.

The list, released by Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book, is below and follows a brief description of the Awards:

Winners of the Colorado Book Awards were announced on Friday, June 24, at the 20th Annual Colorado Book Awards ceremony, as the culminating event for the Aspen Summer Words writing retreat and literary festival in Aspen, Colorado. Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book coordinates the entry and judging of the awards each year with an army of deep-reading volunteer selectors and judges from around the state. Authors, editors, and photographers and their publishers entered 146 titles this year to compete in ten categories.

One outstanding winner is the Creative Nonfiction book, Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq by Dr. Dave Hnida, Simon & Schuster. Hnida never forgot the horror of his alcoholic father’s WWII experience, revealed during their last time together. The need to understand that horror drove Hnida, as a middle-aged doctor, to sign up for two tours of duty in Iraq.

On the first tour, he was equipped with an M16 and medical tools and worked with convoys along the highways of Baghdad. Hnida worked at a combat-support hospital, the equivalent of a MASH unit, for his second tour, during the surge. Hnida recalls the experience of working with much younger soldiers and doctors and the struggle to adjust to army discipline and protocol on top of the rigors of war and a hostile desert environment. A family doctor in civilian life, he was assigned to the ER, fighting his own constant fear as he worked on wounds no civilian doctor ever saw. Through it all, he developed close and abiding friendships with the other doctors and admiration for the young soldiers who risked their lives on a daily basis.

Dr. Dave Hnida is a practicing physician and an award-winning broadcast journalist. Currently CBS4’s Medical Editor, he joined the CBS4 team in September of 1991, covering medicine for Denver and national viewers for NBC and CBS News. Dave has been working in the Denver area as a family and emergency physician for 25 years. He is a combat-decorated Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves (Medical Corp), serving two tours of duty in Iraq since 2003, and as a medical officer with the National Medical Response Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction, a counter-terrorism medical group.

The Colorado Book Award ceremony was co-hosted by the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and the Aspen Institute at the fabulous Doerr-Hosier Center on the Aspen Institute campus, with global literati — including Dr. John Cole, the Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress — in attendance.

2011 Colorado Book Award Winners
Pictorial
Touchstones of Design: Redefining Public Architecture by Curtis Fentress, Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd
Landscapes on Glass: Lantern Slides for the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition, by Jack Turner, Durango Herald Small Press

Biography/History
Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad by Walter R. Borneman, Random House

Children's Literature
Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer by Kathleen T. Pelley, pictures by S.D. Schindler, Farrar Straus Giroux

Creative Nonfiction
Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq by Dr. Dave Hnida, Simon & Schuster

General Nonfiction
The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, From Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore, Harper

Genre Fiction
The Spider's Web by Margaret Coel, Berkley Prime Crime

Juvenile Literature
Warriors: In the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood, Front Street Press

Literary Fiction
Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber, Harper Perennial

Poetry
The Diminishing House by Nicky Beer, Carnegie Mellon University Press

Young Adult Literature
The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell, Candlewick Press

———— 1ST UPDATED POST, FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM ————-

We just heard from Kirk Farber that Postcards From a Dead Girl won the 2011 Colorado Book Award for literary fiction. Three cheers for our hometown author! We'll be back on Monday with news on all the awards winners.

———— ORIGINAL POST, FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM ————-

Big congrats go out to Colorado Springs author Kirk Farber, whose first novel, Postcards From a Dead Girl, has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Colorado Book Awards for literary fiction.

Postcards-from-a-dead-girl-cover-orange-sm.jpg

Farber says he first heard about the nomination from a friend on Facebook (since then, he's received a formal letter from the organization), and that it's a "huge thrill."

Bill Forman interviewed Farber just over a year ago when the Harper Perennial novel debuted. Bill described it this way:

Farber's debut novel chronicles the gradual unraveling of Sid, an increasingly neurotic telemarketer trying to figure out why he's still getting postcards from his former girlfriend, who may or may not be dead.

Engagingly written and darkly humorous, Postcards follows Sid as he stumbles through a series of surreal plot developments involving a survivalist postman, a suspicious 10-year-old and Sid's mother, who definitely is dead.

Farber is up against Jacqueline St. Joan and her novel, My Sisters Made of Light, and Nancy Stohlman, editor of Fast Forward: The Mix Tape.

The winners in all 10 categories will be announced Friday, June 24, at a ceremony at the Doerr-Hosier Center in Aspen. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased via the Colorado Humanities website.

Of course, these awards are for books published in 2010. Since our interview last year, Farber's been keeping busy with two new writing projects. For those who have read and enjoyed Postcards, you'll be excited to know one of them is in a similar "funny literary novel" vein. And the other? He says he's "trying [his] hand at a young adult adventure novel."

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