Andrew Solomon wins Lukas Book Prize

Andrew Solomon has won the Lukas Book Prize for “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” (Scribner). His book, published last year, is an in-depth study of parents and their children with serious medical problems or unusual conditions.

The $10,000 prize, administered by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation, recognizes “excellence in nonfiction that exemplifies the literary grace and commitment to serious research and social concern that characterized the work of the awards’ Pulitzer Prize-winning namesake, J. Anthony Lukas, who died in 1997.”

The judges described Solomon’s book as “a tour de force of heart, head, shoe leather, and terrific writing, gives us a moving and deeply nuanced mural of the American family today.”

Reviewing the book last fall in The Washington Post, Lisa Zeidner wrote, “Solomon forcefully showcases parents who not only aren’t horrified by the differences they encounter in their offspring, but who rise to the occasion by embracing them. In so doing, they reveal a ‘shimmering humanity’ that speaks to our noblest impulses to nurture.”

The Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation also announced today that Robert Caro has won the $10,000 Mark Lynton History Award for the fourth volume of his ongoing biography of Lyndon Johnson, “The Passage of Power” (Knopf). This volume previously won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The awards will be presented on May 7 at a ceremony at Columbia University in New York.

Twitter @RonCharles

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.

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