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The Oklahoma
Center for the Book

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1997 Oklahoma Book Award Finalists

Oklahoma Book Award Award Winners are marked with an Oklahoma Book Award graphic.


Small Wonder
by Gar Bethel
Bethel is the author of seven books of poetry. He has taught in a Baltimore high school, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Pittsburgh, and Southwestern College. He lives in Winfield, Kansas, and, at present, is poet-in-residence at the Wichita Art Museum.

Shattering Air
by David Biespiel
Biespiel was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Texas. He has degrees from Boston University and the University of Maryland. He is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Family Album
by Howard Starks
Starks is retired from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. He has been writing poetry since he was a young man. He and his work have a strong sense of family and place.

Book Award MedalThe Blazing Lights of the Sun
by Rosita Copioli; Translated by Renata Treitel
Treitel was born in Switzerland into an Italian family. She grew up in Italy, Argentina, and the United States. Treitel has published her own collection of poetry and has many translations in numerous journals. She has lived in Tulsa since 1960.


A Strange and Distant Shore:
Indians of the Great Plains in Exile

by Brent Ashabranner
Ashabranner has carried the seeds for this book from his boyhood in Oklahoma more than half a century ago. He won the 1995 Oklahoma Book Award for The Choctaw Code, which delivers a strong message of honor. Ashabranner's writing is infused with a sense of history, of the value of differing cultures, and of the dignity and decency of human beings.

Book Award MedalStone Water
by Barbara Snow Gilbert
Gilbert, an Oklahoma City attorney, introduces sensitive legal, moral, and emotional questions in this work for young adults. This, her first published novel, deals with attitudes toward an older population, about parents and children, and about love and death.

The Buffalo in the Mall
by Molly Levite Griffis
Griffis is a gifted storyteller and shopkeeper who lives in Norman. She owns a bookstore and Pendleton franchise, and has taught English and performed as an artist-in-residence. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers. This is her first book.

One April Morning:
Children Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing

by Nancy Lamb
Lamb, an Oklahoma City native, came back to her hometown two months after the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building to talk with children about the disaster that had so sadly distrupted their lives. Fifty Oklahoma children and their thoughts are featured in this work.

Fire in the Hills
by Anna Myers
Myers has won the Oklahoma Book Award twice: in 1993 for Red-Dirt Jessie, and in 1996 for Graveyard Girl. Myers has a deep understanding of rural life that she brings to her work. She is a teacher and lives with her family in Chandler.

The Legend of the Windigo
by Gayle Ross
Ross is a nationally known storyteller and is a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation during the Trail of Tears. Ross fills her characters with sparkle and personality, and her stories with humor and meaning. She lives in Fredericksburg, Texas.


The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives
by Lindsay Baker and Julie P. Baker
T. Lindsay Baker is Assistant Professor of Museum Studies and Director of Academic Programs and Graduate Studies at Baylor University. Julie P. Baker is Director of the Layland Museum in Cleburn, Texas. This definitive, indexed edition is an important resource for Oklahoma and Southwest historians as well as those interested in the history of African Americans, slavery, and the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma.

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen
by Rick Bayless
Bayless grew up in Oklahoma City and today is one of America's foremost practitioners of Mexican cooking. He and his wife, Deann, own and operate the highly acclaimed restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, both in Chicago.

Alias Frank Canton
by Robert K. DeArment
DeArment is well known as the author of many books about lawmen and the fronteir. This book is the life story of the controversial Canton, who, after conviction and imprisonment for armed robbery, escaped, changed his name, and became an ambitious, hard-working peace officer.

Thomas Moran: The Field Sketches, 1856-1923
by Anne Morand
Morand is the Curator of Art Collections in the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa. This volume is an illustrated catalog of Thomas Moran's field sketches and includes an interpretive essay tracing the artists's 70-year career in the field.

Wild West Shows and the Images
of American Indians 1883-1933

by L.G. Moses
L.G. Moses is professor of history at Oklahoma State University and the author of several books about Native Americans. Here he examines the lives and experiences of Show Indians and also looks at Wild West shows as ventures in the entertainment business, revealing the complexity of the enterprise and the meanings for Indians, entrepreneurs, audiences, and government officials.

Book Award MedalBig Bluestem: A Journey into the Tall Grass
by Annick Smith
Smith's book features the Tallgrass Prairie preserve near Pawhuska, one of the Nature Conservancy's "Last Great Places." An important record of a state treasure, Smith's work traces the story of this land, never broken by the plow; land that, like the grasses, endures.

Texas, New Mexico, and the Compromise of 1850
by Mark J. Stegmaier
Stegmaier is professor of history and department chair at Cameron University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In this work, Stegmaier provides a comprehensive analysis of the dispute, the compromise, and the overall implications for the Civil War.

Goff on Goff: Conversations and Lectures
by Philip B. Welch
Welch practiced architecture for more than 30 years. He was Chair of the Department of Arts and Architecture and of Creative Arts at the University of Santa Clara. This book is about the architect Bruce Goff, and, as Welch points out, the material is as pertinent today as it was when Goff delivered it. Welch is deceased.

Now the Wolf Has Come:
The Creek Nation in the Civil War

by Christine Schultz White and Benton R. White
White and White are both on the faculty of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science. Christine White holds a Ph.D. in Native American history from Texas Christian University. Benton White's Ph.D., also from TCU, is in frontier history. This account relies heavily on Creek oral tradition.


One April Morning:
Children Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing

Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Cooper was born and grew up in Tulsa. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. Cooper worked as an artist for a major greeting card company, and in 1984, moved to New York City to pursue a career as a book illustrator. He now lives with his family in West Orange, New Jersey.

The Buffalo in the Mall
Illustrated by Kim Doner
Kim Doner is a native Oklahoman who loves everything about books, especially writing and illustrating them. This is her third book. Doner won the 1996 Oklahoma Book Award for Green Snake Ceremony, and her award-winning work has been shown nationally through galleries and juried shows. She lives in Tulsa and tours schools to present information about how books are made.

Book Award MedalBig Bluestem: A Journey into the Tall Grass
Design by Carol Haralson, photography by Harvey Payne
Haralson has won the Oklahoma Book Award twice: in 1991 and 1993. She lived in Tulsa for many years, and now lives in Sedona, Arizona. Payne grew up on a ranch 18 miles west of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and took up photography after finishing his education and opening a law practice in Pawhuska. He serves as director of the Nature Conservancy's preserve.

The Legend of the Windigo
Illustrated by Murv Jacob
Jacob is a painter and pipemaker of both Kentucky Cherokee and European heritage. His meticulously researched, brightly colored, and richly patterned paintings draw on the traditional Southeastern Indian cultures. He lives with his family in Tahlequah.


Sweet Remedy
by Linda Phillips Ashour
Ashour is the great-granddaughter of legendary oilman Frank Phillips; she makes her home in California. Oklahoma plays a prominent role in her books: in Sweet Remedy, the heroine has a grandmother from Granite, Oklahoma, who makes treasures of sacks of red dirt.

Cruel Justice
by William Bernhardt
Bernhardt is a partner and trial attorney at the Hall, Estill law firm in tulsa. This is his seventh novel. Bernhardt has been a finalist in the Oklahoma Book Award competition four times and won the award in 1995 for Perfect Justice. He lives in Tulsa with his wife, Kirsten, and their children, Harry and Alice.

A Killing in Quail County
by Jameson Cole
This is Cole's first novel, set in Bob White, Oklahoma in 1957. Bob White is a small town where doors are left unlocked, everyone knows your name, and alcohol is strictly forbidden. A richly compelling depiction of a boy's coming-of-age, Cole's work is hauntingly evocative of a time gone by. Cole lives in Morrison, Colorado.

And the Angels Sing
by J. Madison Davis
Davis is a senior professor of the Professional Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma and president of the North American branch of the International Association of Crime Writers. He was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award for his first novel, The Murder of Frau Schutz.

Pushing the Bear
by Diane Glancy
An acclaimed poet and essayist, Glancy is a professor of Native American literature at Macalester College in Minnesota. She spent many years in the Artist-in-Residence program in Oklahoma. This is her first novel; it recreates the story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

The Fire Carrier
by Jean Hager
Jean Hager's novels of contemporary Native American life in Oklahoma have been praised by critics for their authenticity and passion. Hager has written six previous mystery novels filled with Cherokee lore. She lives in Tulsa with her husband.

The Final Jihad
by Martin Keating
Martin Keating is a master storyteller with unique access to government intelligence agencies and clandestine terrorist groups. Keating, who lives in Tulsa, is the brother of Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.

Book Award MedalThe Names of the Dead
by Stewart O'Nan
A graduate of the Cornell MFA program, O'Nan teaches writing at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. This is the story of a man trying to find his way back to himself -- a story about memories that refuse to fade. It is a harrowing and hearfelt portrait of the Vietnam War and those who fought in it.

The Frequency of Souls
by Mary Kay Zuravleff
Zuravleff grew up in Oklahoma City and now lives with her husband and son in Washgton, D.C., where she edits books and exhibition texts for the Smithsonian Institution. This is her first novel, the story of a middle-aged engineer's first encounter with self-knowledge.


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