Lori Roy, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Walter Mosley Take Top Honors | Edgar Awards 2016
By May 3, 2016 Leave a CommentHow do you top a Pulitzer Prize? Try winning an Edgar Award. At the Mystery Writers of America 70th Annual Edgar Awards banquet, held April 28 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s on The Sympathizer took the Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Author. This was just the latest literary honor for the author’s acclaimed debut about a Vietnamese double agent in 1970s America. The previous week it won the Pulitzer for Fiction and earlier in the year received the American Library Association’s prestigious 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was an LJ top ten book of 2015.
In taking the Edgar statuette for Best Novel, Lori Roy’s Let Me Die in His Footsteps, an atmospheric rural noir tale inspired by the last lawful public hanging in the United States, also marked a milestone in the awards’ history. Roy became the third author and the first woman to win both first and best novel Edgars. Her 2011 debut, Bent Road, earned the prize in 2012.
Other Edgar winners included Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone for Best Paperback Original, Allen Kurzweil’s Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully for Best Fact Crime, Martin Edwards’s The Golden Age of Murder for Best Critical/Biographical, and Stephen King’s “Obits” from The Bazaar of Bad Dreams for Best Short Story.
Capping the evening was the presentation of the Grand Master Award, which “represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing,” and which has gone to such giants in the crime fiction world as James Ellroy, P.D. James, and Agatha Christie. This year’s recipient was Walter Mosley, author of the “Easy Rawlins” (Devil in the Blue Dress) mysteries and the first novelist of color to be so recognized. After a touching introductory tribute by Paul Coates, Mosley’s close friend and the publisher of Black Classic Books, Mosely thanked his late parents for their love and protection, which enabled him to grow up safe “from the stampede that is our world” and to become a writer.
For a full list of the evening’s winners, go to http://www.theedgars.com/.