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By Kathleen Holder on June 27, 2017

Sweeping History Previously Won Bancroft Prize

Andrés Reséndez mugshot
Reséndez

Book cover "The Other Slavery"

Professor Andrés Reséndez recently picked up a California Book Award for The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America. The award is the latest in a series of honors for his history of Native American enslavement.

The Commonwealth Club cited Reséndez’s “groundbreaking scholarship” in awarding him a gold medal in nonfiction in its 86th annual California Book Awards.

The Other Slavery, which tells the story of the enslavement of millions of Native Americans over four centuries, also won a 2017 Bancroft Prize and was named a 2016 National Book Award finalist. See story on Reséndez’s Bancroft Prize.

The California Book Awards, one of the nation’s oldest literary award programs, honors exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. (This year’s fiction gold medal went to Michael Chabon for Moonglow.)

“It was an enormous pleasure to learn about this award,” Reséndez said. “I am thrilled and honored.”

The June 12 awards ceremony in San Francisco included a special tribute to Kevin Starr, California historian and former state librarian who died last January.

Video from the 2017 California Book Awards program June 12: Segment on UC Davis historian Andrés Reséndez, including his remarks, begins at the 43:30-minute mark.)

UC Davis award recipients through the years

Reséndez may be just the second UC Davis author to win in the nonfiction category. His former history department colleague Alan S. Taylor won a gold medal in 2001 for American Colonies.

Other faculty winners hailed from the English department. Winners of California Book Awards for poetry include: Celeste Turner Wright, for A Sense of Place, 1973; Karl Shapiro, for Adult Bookstore, 1976; and Gary Snyder, Left Out in the Rain, 1986.

Snyder shared awards with letterpress artist Tom Killion for notable contribution to publishing for The High Sierra of California, 2002 (silver), and in the Californiana category for California’s Wild Edge, 2015 (gold).

The Literature of California, Vol. 1: Native American Beginnings to 1945, edited by Jack Hicks, won silver for Californiana in 2000.

Yiyun Li won a silver medal for first fiction for A Thousand Years of Good Prayer, 2005, and a gold medal for fiction for The Vagrants, 2009.

Alumni winners include:

  • David “Mas” Masumoto (M.S., community development, ’82) for Californiana, Harvest Son: Planting Roots in American Soil, 1998 (silver)
  • Karen Joy Fowler (M.A., political science, ’74) for fiction, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Kathleen Holder is a content strategist in the College of Letters and Science.