Austin Writers Win 2013 Illumine Awards


Three Austin writers will be receiving the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation’s 2013 Illumine award on November 8, 2013.

Stephen Harrigan will be honored for fiction, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Steven Weinberg for nonfiction, and Cynthia Leitich Smith for young-adult literature. Tapestry Foundation President Carmel Borders will receive the Luminary Award for literary patronage. The winners will be recognized at a dinner at the Austin Hilton Downtown.

Michener faculty fellow Stephen Harrigan is the author of nine books, including the New York Times best-selling novel The Gates of the Alamo. His most recent work, The Eye of the Mammoth, is a career-spanning collection of nonfiction essays. Regarding the latter, Publishers Weekly called “Harrigan is a masterful storyteller, cataloguing scenery and character beautifully, often with great humor…These pieces convey a deep and rewarding connection with place.”

Dr. Steven Weinberg—called “a true intellectual as well as a brilliant theoretical physicist” by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins—has been recognized with multiple prizes for his work in physics, but it’s general-audience novels such as Lake Views: This World and the Universe that earned him the Illumine award. Dr. Weinberg holds the Jack S. Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science at the University of Texas.

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a best-selling author of children’s and young-adult novels including the Tantalize series, a gothic fantasy set in Austin. The series has already earned her recognition as a Spirit of Texas author by the Texas Library Association and the nickname “the Anne Rice for teen readers” from The Bloomsbury Review. 

All three writers are among the featured authors at the next weekend’s Texas Book Festival in Austin. Check this space soon for the Observer‘s festival coverage.