The nonfiction medal for excellence went to Timothy Egan for his biography, "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis."
Edward Curtis devoted his life, his health and his marriage to photographing the Indians of North America at a time when their traditions--and many of the tribes--were dying out. Egan's book is gracefully told, in language and scene that employs all five of the senses, the Strib critic said.
Ford and Egan received their awards--$5,000 and a medal--Sunday at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago.
Runners up, who won $1,500, include Louise Erdrich for "The Round House," Junot Diaz, for "This is How You Loser Her," Jill Lepore, for "The Mansion of Happiness," and David Quammen, for "Spillover."