When the New York Times recently covered a new literary prize being awarded by the Brooklyn Library, they mentioned co-chair Ashley Mihlebach. Somewhat surprisingly, the paper failed to note her fellow co-chair Chares Duhigg, a member of the paper’s staff since 2006.
Duhigg, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for his series on Apple, is helping with the non-fiction side. Among the three titles short-listed for the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize (along with three more competing for a fiction prize) is the work of another journalist, freelance reporter Claire Prentice. From the synopsis for her 2014 tome The Lost Tribe of Coney Island:
The book unearths the incredible true story of the Igorrotes, a group of “headhunting, dog eating” tribespeople brought to America from the Philippines by the opportunistic showman Truman K. Hunt. At Luna Park, the G-string-clad Filipinos performed native dances and rituals before a wide-eyed public in a mocked-up tribal village. Millions of Americans flocked to see the tribespeople slaughter live dogs for their daily canine feasts and to hear thrilling tales of headhunting. The Igorrotes became a national sensation—they were written up in newspaper headlines, portrayed in cartoons, and even featured in advertising jingles, all fueled by Truman’s brilliant publicity stunts.
Duhigg admits that “exactly what constitutes a great ‘Brooklyn book’ is difficult to pin down.” Helping the co-chairs will be a TBA panel of judges.
— Claire Prentice (@ClairePrent) August 6, 2015
[Jacket cover courtesy: New Harvest]