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Margot Lee Shetterly’s ‘Hidden Figures’ wins Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Isabel Allende gets lifetime achievement award

Author Margot Lee Shetterly has won the Anisfield-Wolf

Author Margot Lee Shetterly has won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in nonfiction for "Hidden Figures." Credit: Invision/Andy Kropa

Isabel Allende and Margot Lee Shetterly are among the recipients of the 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, announced March 23 by Henry Louis Gates Jr., who chairs the jury. The awards, given every year by the Cleveland Foundation, recognize fiction, nonfiction and poetry that confront racism and examine diversity.

The Chilean-American writer Allende, 74, will receive a lifetime achievement award. Her books, written in Spanish and translated into many languages, include “The House of Spirits,” “Eva Luna,” and, most recently, “The Japanese Lover.” They have sold more than 67 million copies worldwide.

Margot Lee Shetterly will receive the nonfiction award for her first book, “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” (William Morrow). The film adaptation, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Fiction prizes will go to Peter Ho Davies for his novel “The Fortunes” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which examines Asian-American history and identity through four linked sections, and to Karan Mahajan for “The Association of Small Bombs” (Viking), a novel tracing the aftereffects of a terrorist bombing in an Indian marketplace.

Tyehimba Jess won the poetry award for his collection “Olio” (Wave Books), which gives voice to the first generation of post-bellum black artists, writers and performers, including Booker T. Washington, Scott Joplin and the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will be presented Sept. 7 in Cleveland. In addition to Gates, the judges were poet Rita Dove, novelist Joyce Carol Oates, psychologist Steven Pinker and historian Simon Schama.

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