Annal: 1981 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1981.

Book:The White Hotel

The White Hotel

D.M. Thomas

By turns a dream of electrifying eroticism recounted by a young woman to her analyst, Sigmund Freud, and a horrifying yet calmly unsensational narrative of the Holocaust, this PEN Silver Pen winner is now recognized as a modern classic that reconciles the nightmarish with the transcendent.

Book:The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen

Book:Dad: A Novel

Dad: A Novel

William Wharton

John Tremont, a middle-aged man with a family, is summoned to his mother’s bedside after she has suffered a heart attack. When he arrives, he finds her shaken but surviving: it is his father, left alone, who is unable to cope, who begins to fail, to slip away from life. Joined by his nineteen-year-old son, John suddenly becomes enmeshed in the frightening, consuming, endless minutiae of caring for a beloved, dying parent. He also finds himself inescapably confronting his own middle age, jammed between his son’s feckless impatience to get on with his life and his father’s heartbreaking willingness to let go.

A story of the love that binds generations, Dad celebrates the universe of possibilities within every individual life.

Book:Ellis Island and Other Stories

Ellis Island and Other Stories

Mark Helprin

Marshall Pearl is orphaned at birth aboard an illegal immigrant ship off the coast of Palestine in 1947 and brought as an infant to America. Determined to see the world in its beauty, ferocity, and ultimate justice, he does so, in scenes of gorgeous color and great excitement, as a child in the Hudson Valley, fighting the Rastafarians in Jamaica, at Harvard, in a slaughterhouse on the Great Plains, in the Mexican desert, on the sea, and in the Alps. Finally, he is drawn to Israel to confront the logic of his birth in a crucible of war, magic, suffering, and grace. At the opening of the book, he is one of the dying wounded being transported to Haifa during the 1973 War. We follow him as he dreams, reconstructing his life, until, by the strength of what he has learned, suffered, and hoped, Marshall Pearl rises.

Book:The Stories of Ray Bradbury

The Stories of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

The Stories of Ray Bradbury—a hundred of his best stories, selected by the author himself—is the definitive collection of one of the greatest fantasists the world has ever known. Published in 1980, the volume contains stories selected from the first four decades of Bradbury’s career. There are his unique stories of Mars, which later landed in The Martian Chronicles. There are nostalgic stories of Green Town, Illinois, which Bradbury later brewed into Dandelion Wine. The treasures here also include his regional tales of Ireland and of rural…

Book:Zuckerman Unbound

Zuckerman Unbound

Philip Roth

Now in his mid-thirties, Nathan Zuckerman, a would-be recluse despite his newfound fame as a bestselling author, ventures onto the streets of Manhattan in the final year of the turbulent sixties. Not only is he assumed by his fans to be his own fictional satyr, Gilbert Carnovsky (“Hey, you do all that stuff in that book?”), but he also finds himself the target of admonishers, advisers, and sidewalk literary critics. The recent murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., lead an unsettled Zuckerman to wonder if “target” may be more than a figure of speech.

In Zuckerman Unbound—the second volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound—the notorious novelist Nathan Zuckerman retreats from his oldest friends, breaks his marriage to a virtuous woman, and damages, perhaps irreparably, his affectionate connection to his younger brother…and all because of his great good fortune!

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