Final Report on the Big New York Publishing Bash
It was and balmy night in New York City, but that’d didn’t deter an all-star gang of authors, agents, publishers, and publicists from joining the revelry and honoring three legends.
The best novel honors went to Kate Atkinson and Laura Lippman, they shared the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Transcription (Little, Brown and Company) and Sunburn (William Morrow), respectively.
This was a record third win for Lippman, who won the Strand’s inaugural award for best novel for What the Dead Know. “I could not be more honored to win the Strand Award for Sunburn — and in a tie with Kate Atkinson, one of my heroes,” Lippman said. “It is literally one of the most beautiful prizes in crime fiction so—stand back, bragging alert—it’s great to have three of them!”
Kate Atkinson was elated to share the award with Lippman. “I cannot tell you how delighted I am to have won the Strand Critics Award for Transcription and equally delighted to be sharing it with Laura.”
C.J. Tudor took home debut novel honors. Tudor burst onto the scene last year with her debut novel The Chalk Man, a dark thriller with unexpected twists, which earned critical acclaim and pre-publication blurbs from several bestselling novelists. “I’m honored, thrilled and totally gobsmacked to receive this award,” said Tudor. “ I really didn’t expect it. I was amazed to even be on the shortlist.”
This year, the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to authors Heather Graham and Donna Leon.
For over four decades, Heather Graham has made her name known to millions of fans worldwide. With over 150 books to her name ranging from paranormal, horror, suspense, thrillers and even historical mysteries, Graham has earned the status of a publishing romantic suspense icon. “I’m incredibly honored and grateful to be granted this award by The Strand,” said Graham. “And so grateful as well to The Strand for their support of writers and the mystery genre.”
Since 1992, Donna Leon has introduced the publishing world to one of the most engaging and colorful characters in the form of Comissario Guido Brunetti. Twenty-eight novels later, her series of novels set in Venice have been translated into dozens of languages, spawned a hit TV series, and established Leon was as one of the most versatile and talented crime authors of our time. The Lifetime Achievement Award was accepted by Grove Atlantic executive editor, George Gibson who read a speech written by Leon: “I wish I could be with you tonight to tell you, personally, how grateful I feel to receive a lifetime achievement award from Strand magazine. To be in the company of Elmore Leonard, Peter Lovesey, and the other previous winners of this award is wonderfully satisfying.”
The Strand’s Publisher of the Year Award went to the legendary Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks. “My passion for the impact that reading can have led me to cash in my 401K and start Sourcebooks out of a spare bedroom in my house in Naperville, Illinois,” said Raccah. “Today, 32 years later, Sourcebooks is the largest woman-owned trade publisher in North America, the 11th largest publisher in the U.S.”
This is the first time that women have swept the awards. It was wonderful to see Donna and Heather recognized for their wonderful careers and with Dominque Raccah, she’s earned the status as a living legend in the world of publishing.
The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics from NPR, Time, the Associated Press, The Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Washington Post.
Nominees for Best Novel
Best Mystery Novel
Lullaby Road by James Anderson (Crown)
Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown and Company)
November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
The Witch Elm by Tana French (Viking)
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus)
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (Crown)
The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens (Touchstone)
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward (Park Row Books)
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Publisher of the Year Award