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The Oklahoma
Center for the Book

Oklahoma Dept. of
200 NE 18th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3298

(405) 521-2502
(405) 525-7804—FAX

Connie Armstrong,
OCB director

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1998 Oklahoma Book Award Finalists


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


Angels in the Dust
Illustrated by Roger Essley
Roger Essley is an artist whose drawings are in the collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His research about Oklahoma includes an interview with a woman who lived through the Dust Bowl. Mr. Essley lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Oklahoma City: A Better Living, A Better Life
Design Director Camille Leonard; Designer Rebecca Hockman Carlisle; Photography by Jack Hammett, Joe Ownbey, Fred Marvel, and Erick Gfeller.
Local photographers have created an impressive visual portrait of the Oklahoma City area for this book, produced in partnership with the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

Tulsa: A Celebration Design
by Howard J. Doak II and Signature Graphics, Photographs by Nancy Godsey and Rick Stiller.
As a project for A Novel Idea book store, Doak and Signature Graphics worked together to design this book. Godsey is a teacher, an artist, and a photographer. Stiller is an award winning commercial photographer with more than twenty years of experience.

Book Award Medal Visions and Voices: Native American Painting
from the Philbrook Museum of Art

Designed by Carol Haralson
Haralson has won the Oklahoma Book Award three times: in 1991 for Cleora’s Kitchens, in 1993 for Will Rogers: Courtship and Correspondence, and in 1997 for Big Bluestem: A Journey Into the Tall Grass. She lived in Tulsa for many years and now resides in Sedona, Arizona.

Tulsa! Biography of the American City, a second book designed by Carol Haralson, was also a finalist.


Life in the Ancient Near East
by Daniel Snell
Snell is professor of history at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Ledgers and Prices: Early Mesopotamian Merchant Accounts and coauthor of Economic Texts from Sumer, both published by Yale University Press. In this sweeping overview of life in the ancient Near East, Snell surveys the history of the region from the invention of writing five thousand years ago to Alexander the Great’s conquest in 332 B.C.E.

Book Award Medal My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin
Edited by John Hope Franklin and John Whittington Franklin
Buck Colbert Franklin’s extraordinary life is traced from his boyhood adventures on a ranch in Indian Territory to his practice of law in twentieth century Tulsa. Buck Franklin was an observant witness to the changes in politics, law, daily existence, and race relations that transformed the Southwest. John Hope Franklin, son of Buck Franklin, is chairman of the Advisory Board on the President’s Initiative on Race, and has received more than one hundred honorary degrees. He was the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 1996, and also received the President’s Medal of Freedom in 1995. The son of John Hope Franklin, John Whittington Franklin, is a program officer in the Division of Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution.

On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions
by Jim Barnes
Barnes vividly recalls the people, events, and places that influenced his boyhood and adolescence spent in the Choctaw country of southeastern Oklahoma during the Depression and World War II. Barnes has intertwined his narrative and poems to create a sophisticated personal history and commentary. Barnes received the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry in 1993.

Our Governors’ Mansions
by Cathy Keating with Mike Brake and Patti Rosenfeld
All of the governors’ mansions currently in use in the United States are featured in this lavish pictorial presentation. The Governors’ Mansions project has been organized by Cathy Keating, First Lady of the State of Oklahoma, with the assistance of Mike Brake, chief writer for Governor Frank Keating, and longtime fine art enthusiast Patti Rosenfeld. The three worked in cooperation with the governors’ offices in each of the states.

Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America
Edited by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird
Joy Harjo is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. Born in Tulsa, she graduated from high school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where she met Gloria Bird. In 1995, Harjo won the Oklahoma Book Award for The Woman Who Fell from the Sky. Gloria Bird is an enrolled member of the Spokane Tribe and lives in Washington State where she is the contributing editor of Wicazo Sa Review. This anthology includes more than eighty writers representing fifty nations, and known for their contributions to tribal communities.

Some Things are not Forgotten: A Pawnee Family Remembers
by Martha Royce Blaine
The Blaine family was among the Pawnees forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1874-75. Blaine reveals the strengths of character and culture that enabled the family to persevere during the reservation years. Blaine is a former archivist of the Oklahoma Historical Society and lives in Oklahoma City.

Theodore Roosevelt and Six Friends of the Indian
by William T. Hagan
Hagan is retired professor of History, University of Oklahoma. He has written numerous books about Indian subjects. He weaves a captivating story of the interactions between Theodore Roosevelt and six friends of the Indians (George Bird Grinnell, C. Hart Merriam, Herbert Welsh, Hamlin Garland, Francis E Leupp, and Charles Lummis) who used different agendas to seek the president’s influence on behalf of the tribes.

Tulsa! Biography of the American City
by Danney Goble
Written to commemorate Tulsa’s centennial anniversary, this narrative is enriched with 267 historical photographs. The volume records the major events and personalities that shaped Tulsa. Goble has worked as Director of American Studies at Rogers University, Tulsa campus, since 1995. With Carl Albert, he received the Oklahoma Book Award in 1991 for Little Giant.

Visions and Voices: Native American Painting
from the Philbrook Museum of Art

by Lydia Lloyd Wyckoff
Wyckoff, curator of Native American Art and director of the Native American Outreach program at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, has studied the relationship between design and world-view for twenty years. The 484 paintings in Visions and Voices, all from the collection of the Philbrook Museum of Art, reflect many major influences on Indian art.


by Jim Barnes
Jim Barnes is writer-in-residence, editor of the Chariton Review, and professor of comparative literature at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri. He was born in Summerfield, Oklahoma, attended LeFlore High School, and graduated from Southeastern State University in Durant. He received the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry in 1993. This is Barnes’ eighth volume of poetry.

Red Signature
by Mary Leader
Mary Leader makes her home in Norman, Oklahoma. She is currently the Creative Writing Fellow for Poetry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she also lectures in law. Leader practiced law for many years and served Oklahoma as Assistant State Attorney General, and later as referee for the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. Red Signature? is her first book of poems.

Book Award Medal Somebody Say Amen
by Betty Shipley
Betty Shipley, an Oklahoma native, is a former high school teacher, university lecturer, and poet-in-the schools. Shipley is Oklahoma’s 1997-98 Poet Laureate, and poetry editor and columnist for ByLine magazine. She is also editor and book designer for Broncho Press in Edmond.


Aloha Summer
by Bill Wallace
A popular writer for young readers, Wallace has received numerous awards for his books, including the Texas Bluebonnet, the Oklahoma Sequoyah Award, the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Award, and the William Allen White Award. Unlike the hero in Aloha Summer who moves from Oklahoma to Hawaii, Wallace still lives in Chickasha where he was born.

Angels in the Dust
by Margot Theis Raven
A writer and journalist who has worked in radio, television, magazines, and newspapers, this is Raven’s first book for children. This book fulfills a desire to write about the Dust Bowl through the eyes of the courageous people who survived hard times. Raven recently moved from Ohio to Concord, Maine, with her husband, four children, and two hermit crabs.

Dear Dr. Sillybear
by Dian Curtis Regan
Regan is the author of more than thirty books for young readers. She is also a popular speaker in Oklahoma schools, where she often tells the children about her monster cat Poco. Originally from Colorado, Regan has lived in Edmond for several years, and is moving to Venezuela soon.

Book Award Medal Hero
by S.L. Rottman
First-time author S.L. Rottman is an English teacher in the Deer Creek school system. A graduate of Colorado State University, she wrote Hero at the age of twenty-four. In an age when few heroes exist, Rottman writes about a confused fifteen-year-old boy who learns just what it means to be a hero.

The Keeping Room
by Anna Myers
Myers has won the Oklahoma Book Award two times: 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. Her life in Chandler, Oklahoma, as an eighth-grade teacher gives her a deep understanding of small-town life for young people.

Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
Set in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, this novel explores both the ecology of the land and the topography of the heart. Hesse received the Newbery Award for this book. She is the author of ten books for children including The Music of Dolphins which was named a best book of 1996 by both Publishers’ Weekly and School Library Journal. She lives in Vermont.

Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America
Edited by Jill Max
Jill Max is a pseudonym for the writing team of Ronia K. Davidson and Kelly Bennett. They live in Tulsa, where they have done extensive research about Native American customs and lore at the Gilcrease Museum. Spider Spins a Story explores the recurrence of the spider as a unifying thread in the literature of diverse Native American cultures.


Death in Lovers’ Lane
by Carolyn Hart
An acknowledged master of mystery and spine-tingling suspense, Hart has won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards for her popular ŮDeath on DemandÓ series. This is the third in her Henrie O. Mysteries. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City.

The Geometry of Love
by Joan Fay Cuccio
This is the first novel for Cuccio, a writer and newspaper copy editor. In sensuous and sensitive prose, Cuccio examines the nature of experience within the context of one woman’s story. She is a student of Tae Kwon Do and has worked as a volunteer for a battered women’s shelter. She lives with her husband and two dogs in Norman.

Book Award Medal The Mercy Seat
by Rilla Askew
Askew is the author of Strange Business, which received the 1993 Oklahoma Book Award. Her short fiction has been selected for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Award. She divides her time between the Sans Bois Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma and upstate New York.

Naked Justice
by William Bernhardt
Bernhardt has won many awards in both of his chosen professions—as an attorney and as a writer. In 1993 he was named one of the top twenty-five young lawyers in the nation. Bernhardt has been a finalist in the Oklahoma Book Award competition five times and won the award in 1995 for Perfect Justice. He and his wife, Kirsten, and their two children live in Tulsa.

Ride the Lightning
by Robert H. Mitchell
Inspired by the 1973 riot at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Ride the Ligntning spins a web of political and legal intrigue. Mitchell is an Oklahoma City attorney specializing in trial law. He has served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor of Oklahoma and as chairman of the state’s pardon and parole board. This is his first novel.

The Speed Queen
by Stewart O’Nan
O’Nan’s award winning fiction includes the 1997 Oklahoma Book Award for The Names of the Dead. In 1996, he was named one of Granta’s Best Young American novelists. This novel, set in Edmond, was begun when O’Nan taught creative writing at the University of Central Oklahoma. He now lives in Avon, Connecticut.

War Woman: A Novel of the Real People
by Robert Conley
Conley was a 1995 Oklahoma Book Award finalist for Long Way Home. A two-time winner of the prestigious Spur Award, Conley is one of the most respected Native American writers at work today. He is a teacher and poet, as well as a novelist. He lives in Tahlequah.

Zeke and Ned
by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana
Pulitizer Prize winning author McMurtry and writing partner Ossana collaborated on this novel set in Indian Territory, east of the Arkansas River. McMurtry is the author of twenty novels, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Texas. Diana Ossana has co-authored novels, screenplays, and co-produced television mini-series with McMurtry. She lives in Arizona.

To see complete list of 1998 Oklahoma Book Award Finalists go here.


The Oklahoma Center for the Book, sponsor of the Oklahoma Book Award competition, is a non-profit, 501-c-3 organization located in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Established in 1986 as an outreach program of the Library of Congress, the Oklahoma Center was the fourth such state center formed. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors from across the state.

The mission of the Oklahoma Center for the Book is
to promote the work of Oklahoma authors,
to promote the literary heritage of the state, and
to encourage reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.

For more information about the Oklahoma Center for the Book or the Oklahoma Book Award program, contact Connie Armstrong, 200 N.E. 18th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105; or call 405-522-3383.


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