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New York, New York April, 2002 - The New York Society Library, founded in 1754, has announced the winners of the 2001  New York City Book Awards. The Awards were established in 1996 to honor books of literary or artistic quality that, in the opinion of the selection committee, evoke the essence and spirit of New York City. How to Contact

New York City Book Awards Winners 1995 - 2001

The New York Society Library was founded in 1754 by a civic-minded group, the New York Society, in the belief that the availability of books would help the city to prosper. Its membership has included Washington Irving, Willa Cather, Herman Melville, Lillian Hellman and W. H. Auden, among others. The Library is free to all for reading and reference. NYC Hotel Specials

New York City Book Awards 2002

Award for History: Diana Dizerega Wall and Anne-Marie E. Cantwell for Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of New York City | Hardcover

Award for History: Five Points: The 19th-century New York City Neighborhood that Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum by Tyler Anbinder | Hardcover

Children's Book Award: Lookin' for Bird in the Big City by Robert Burleigh | Hardcover

Lifetime Achievement Award 2000: Vincent F Seyfried; Old Queens, N.Y. in Early Photographs | Paperback; Old Rockaway, New York in Early Photographs | Paperback

2000 Award for Fiction: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: A Novel by Pulitzer Prizewinner Michael Chabon | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio Cassette

2000 Award for History: Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II by  Joshua B. Freeman | Hardcover

2000: Award for Natural History Heartbeats in the Muck: A Dramatic Look at the History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor by John R. Waldman | Hardcover

2000 Award for Borough History: Bronx Accent: A Literary and Pictorial History of the Borough by Lloyd Ultan and Barbara Unger | Hardcover

Special Citation of Merit: The AIA Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition by Norval White | Hardcover | Paperback

The Members of the Selection Committee for the 2000 New York City Book Awards were: constitutional historian and author Richard B. Bernstein; Barbara L. Cohen, proprietor of the former New York Bound Bookshop; Hope Cooke, author and urban historian; Joan K. Davidson, civic leader and past commissioner of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Christopher Gray, architectural historian and writer for The New York Times; Thomas Mellins, prizewinning author and architectural historian; Roger F. Pasquier, distinguished ornithologist and author; Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, former president of the Central Park Conservancy and presently executive director of Cityscape Institute; award winning biographer; Jean Strouse and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein.

"Vincent Seyfried is the grand old man of Queens history, with books published before many working historians were born. His greatest achievement so far is his ongoing preservation and indexing project for the dozen or more newspapers covering Queens villages before they were consolidated into greater New York. For an institution to tackle this project would be laudable; for an individual, without support or funding, is amazing," commented Christopher Gray about the recipient of the first-ever New York Society Library Lifetime Achievement Award. Tony Hiss, author, lecturer, and consultant about restoring America’s cities and landscapes, will present Mr. Seyfried’s award.

Ken Kalfus in The New York Times Book Review says of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: A Novel by Pulitzer Prizewinner Michael Chabon | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio Cassette that "it would make a nice comic book series – the cousins square-jawed and ham-fisted – but the depth of Chabon’s thought, his sharp language, his inventiveness and his ambition make this a novel of towering achievement." Wendy Wasserstein will present the New York Book Award for Fiction to Michael Chabon.

Richard B. Bernstein notes that Working-Class New York Hardcover "explores the creation, by workers and their allies, of a true social democracy in New York City, and argues that the key elements of New York City’s greatness were the culture, sensibility and political activism of its working class. Joshua B. Freeman’s book should be required reading for anyone who loves New York and wants to understand it." Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, will present the Award for History to Professor Freeman.

Heartbeats in the Muck Hardcover "is a level-headed account of the geophysics, former marine life, degradation from sewage and industrial pollution and tentative comeback of one of the world’s greatest urban edges," says Elizabeth Barlow Rogers. "John Waldman’s background as a field biologist has equipped him with the scientific background to describe the harbor’s ecological history, but his gift for graceful narration is all his own." Ms. Rogers will present the Award for Natural History to Mr. Waldman.

Booklist’s states that Bronx Accent Hardcover is "a chronicle of the rise, fall and rebirth of New York City’s northernmost borough in fiction, nonfiction and poetry by people who live or lived in the Bronx, or who simply chose to write about it…. a good sense of how the many destructive forces converged to wreck the area, and how the people’s stubborn spirit would not let all of their beloved neighborhoods turn to wasteland." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, noted author, critic and long-time Bronx resident will present the Award for Borough History to Lloyd Ultan and Barbara Unger.

"The Fourth Edition of Norval White’s AIA Guide to New York City Hardcover | Paperback is, like the original 1967 edition, smart, vivid, funny, and opinionated, drawing on sources from Langston Hughes to LeCorbusier. Although still the baseline source for the architecture of New York, it includes restaurants, shop fronts, candy stores, stickball venues, smell and childhood memories, appealing not just to architects but to anyone who loves to walk the city streets," comments Christopher Gray, who will present the Special Citation of Merit.

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