By Jeremy Wang-Iverson
While this has been a difficult year, I would like to close on a positive note and mention the accolades received by our clients. What these authors and publishers share is a passion for their work and supporting them was a pleasure. Years were spent researching and writing their respective projects, in many cases finding a publisher was also a challenge, so now it’s gratifying to see this recognition. I would also like to express appreciation to Vesto associates Claudia Acevedo, Lani Harms, Kathryn Lopez, Colin Midson, Holly Mitchell, and Kurt Stengel for both their friendship and expertise throughout our collaborations.
Appalachian Reckoning (edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll) – Winner, 2020 Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award, American Book Awards; Winner, 2020 Weatherford Award for Nonfiction. Announcements on Bowdoin and Berea.
David Lazar’s Celeste Holm Syndrome – Longlisted for 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Judges: Sandra Cisneros, John D’Agata, Adam Gopnik. Announcement on PEN America; finalists to be announced in February 2021.
Banipal (edited by Margaret Obank and Samuel Shimon) – Winner, 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Publishing. Announcement on LitHub. “Lit Hub is proud of its partner publication Banipal magazine, recipient of the Publishing & Technology award, for showcasing contemporary Arab authors in English translation,” wrote Aaron Robertson.
Lizzie O’Shea’s Future Histories – Finalist for the 2020 Victorian Premier Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Judges: Ali Alizadeh, Joy Damousi, Quinn Eades, Jacinda Woodhead, Fatima Measham. Announcement on Wheeler Centre.
Deesha Philyaw’s The Secret Lives of Church Ladies – Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. Judges: Roxane Gay (chair), Cristina Henríquez, Laird Hunt, Rebecca Makkai, Keaton Patterson. Announcement on Booktimist. Finalist for the 2020 The Story Prize. Announcement on LitHub. (Winner will be announced in March.)
Sejal Shah’s This Is One Way to Dance – Best Books of 2020, NPR. “The essays in Sejal Shah’s finely wrought debut explore congruent realities: to be born and bred in America while simultaneously embedded in the Gujarati diaspora,” wrote Martha Anne Toll.
This was the year of virtual events, which will mark a turning point in how launches are organized. While we hope for a return to crowded bookstores and convivial readings, the accessibility and flexibility provided by the format are undeniable advantages. As a bonus, we include one of our favorites, hosted by our friends at Loyalty Bookstores: Sharon Dolin discussing her memoir Hitchcock Blonde with Kim Addonizio.