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Chicago Tribune Announces 2019 Literary and Heartland Award Winners

CHICAGO, Aug. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Chicago Tribune announced today the winners of its 2019 Literary Award and Heartland Prizes, which will be presented at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 3 and October 27, respectively.

For its Literary Award winner, the Tribune will celebrate Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a pioneering American scholar and literary critic who has enriched public life and conversation in his passionate devotion to African American history, culture and literature. Expanding his audience from page to screen as host of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” Gates has educated generations about the past. Gates – who was awarded the Heartland Prize in 1994 for his memoir, “Colored People” – will receive the award November 3 at the Harris Theater.

“Dr. Gates is a dynamic, provocative thought-leader who embodies excellence in literature and in broader culture," said Bruce Dold, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune. "He prompts necessary discussions on subjects that are often uncomfortable.”

First awarded in 2002, the Chicago Tribune Literary Award is an annual recognition of the lifetime achievement of an individual storyteller. Past recipients include Salman Rushdie, Elie Wiesel, Margaret Atwood, Tom Wolfe and Joyce Carol Oates.

Heartland Prizes 

The Tribune will award the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction to Sarah Smarsh, who reaches into the deep roots of her Kansas family and the fault lines in American culture in her book Heartland, which has become required reading for anyone seeking insight into the realities of American poverty.

Rebecca Makkai will be awarded the Heartland Prize for Fiction for her book The Great Believers. In her moving and artful novel compelled by the AIDS crisis in Chicago, Makkai – a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award – depicts the height of the epidemic and those who loved and lost during the worst of its ravages. 

Both awards will be presented on October 27 at Northwestern University’s Galvin Recital Hall.

“It’s an honor to award this year’s Heartland Prizes to these two authors," said Dold. “Smarsh and Makkai are graceful and powerful writers whose works touch poignantly on enduring Midwest values.”

Chicago Tribune established the Heartland Prizes in 1988 to annually recognize a novel and work of non-fiction that reinforce and perpetuate the values of heartland America. The Literary and Heartland Prizes are a part of the Tribune's ongoing commitment to the written word and support of literacy.

Chicago Humanities Festival Award Presentation Details

Chicago Tribune Literary Award: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 
Interviewed by Chicago Tribune editor-in-chief Bruce Dold
Sunday, November 3
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Harris Theater
205 E Randolph Street

Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction: Sarah Smarsh
Interviewed by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich
Sunday, October 27
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ryan Center for the Musical Arts | Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction: Rebecca Makkai
Interviewed by Chicago Tribune senior writer and columnist Rick Kogan
Sunday, October 27
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Ryan Center for the Musical Arts | Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

For more information, visit ChicagoHumanities.org.

About Tribune Publishing
Tribune Publishing (TPCO) is a media company rooted in award-winning journalism.  Headquartered in Chicago, Tribune Publishing operates local media businesses in eight markets with titles including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun,  Orlando Sentinel, South Florida's Sun-Sentinel, Virginia’s Daily Press and The Virginian-Pilot, The Morning Call of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, and the Hartford Courant.

In addition to award-winning local media businesses, Tribune Publishing operates national and international brands such as Tribune Content Agency and The Daily Meal and is the majority owner of the product review website BestReviews.
                               
Our brands are committed to informing, inspiring and engaging local communities.  We create and distribute content across our media portfolio, offering integrated marketing, media, and business services to consumers and advertisers, including digital solutions and advertising opportunities.

About the Chicago Humanities Festival
2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Year of Power. From September 14–November 10, CHF will present more than 80 programs in neighborhoods and venues across the Chicago area exploring how power operates across and influences all our relationships, political, historical, economic and interpersonal.

Media Contact:
Tilden Katz
(312) 606-2614
tilden.katz@fticonsulting.com