J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards for Exceptional Works of Nonfiction

The 2011 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards for exceptional works of American nonfiction were presented at Columbia University in May 2011. Historian Taylor Branch was master of ceremonies at the event.

Presented jointly each year since 1998 by the Nieman Foundation and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, the Lukas Prize Project Awards recognize excellence in nonfiction writing that exemplifies the work of J. Anthony Lukas, a 1969 Nieman Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The project’s history prize is named for the late Mark Lynton, a business executive and author who was an avid proponent of history writing. The Lynton family has sponsored the Lukas Prize Project since its inception.

2011 winners and finalists:

The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

($10,000) - Recognizes superb examples of nonfiction writing that exemplify literary grace, a commitment to serious research and social concern.

  • Eliza Griswold for The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Griswold was a 2007 Nieman Fellow.
  • Jefferson Cowie for Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (New Press)
  • Paul Greenberg for Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (Penguin Press)
  • Siddartha Mukherjee for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner).
Judges for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize were Katherine Bouton, E.J. Dionne and David Finkel.

The Mark Lynton History Prize

($10,000) - Awarded to the book-length work of history, on any subject, that best combines intellectual or scholarly distinction with felicity of expression.

  • Isabel Wilkerson for The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House)
  • Patrick Wilcken for Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in His Laboratory (Penguin Press).
Judges for the Mark Lynton History Prize were Jane Kamensky, Suzanne Marchand and Matthew Stewart.

The J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award

($30,000) - Given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction on an American topic of political or social concern.

  • Alex Tizon for Big Little Man: The Asian Male at the Dawn of the Asian Century (to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Joe Mozingo for The Fiddler on Pantico Run (to be published by Simon and Schuster)
  • Florence Williams for Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (to be published by W.W. Norton).

Judges for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award were Cecilia Balli, Donald Katz and Carlin Romano.