Exciting news: The Interior Borderlands: Regional Identity in the Midwest and Great Plains is a finalist in the “History-General” category for the 2020 Midwest Book Awards. Edited by Jon K. Lauck, the book attempts to answer the question of where the Great Plains begins – and where does the Midwest end – with twenty different essays, plus a preface by Harry F. Thompson and an introduction by Lauck. I contributed one of the essays, which is entitled “’Nebraska Is, at Least, Not a Desert:’ Land Sales, False Promises, and Real Estate Borderlands on the Great Plains.” But don’t just buy it for that – this is a phenomenal volume from front to cover. Each author puts their own spin on the question, and together they present a dynamic and compelling vision of an often misunderstood and frequently forgotten region.
For more information, see the press release below. And congrats to Jon K. Lauck for putting together such a wonderful collection!
The Interior Borderlands: Regional Identity in the Midwest and Great Plains, edited by Jon K. Lauck, was named a finalist in the History-General category of the 30th annual Midwest Book Awards. The awards program, which is organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest.
The book is a collection of 20 essays plus a preface, “West from Here,” and introduction, “Crossing the Line: In Search of the Midwest/Great Plains Borderlands” by the publisher and editor, respectively. Contributors teach at colleges and universities in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and France.
John Wunder, of the University of Nebraska, calls this book “special” and notes that it “rivals any and all other North American regional writings. Don’t miss it!” Western historian Richard W. Etulain says this collection “provides another notable contribution to our burgeoning understanding of the American Midwest” and is “a strong source for all readers.”
The 30th annual Midwest Book Awards was open to books published and copyrighted in 2019 in MiPA’s 12-state Midwestern region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
This year’s competition garnered 221 entries in 31 categories, which were judged by a panel of 99 librarians and booksellers from every state in MiPA’s 12-state Midwestern region.
Typically an awards gala is held every year in Minneapolis to announce the winners, but this year, due to travel and shelter-in-place restrictions from Covid-19, winners will be announced during a free, online watch party on Facebook set for June 27 at 7pm CDT, with book prizes for attendees and a special segment by independent booksellers throughout the Midwest on how to support them at this time.
“Although we were disappointed to cancel our gala this year, we are excited for the potential to attract a larger audience who can help make this a truly regional event that celebrates Midwestern publishing,” said Jennifer Baum, chair of the Midwest Book Awards.
For a complete list of finalists, visit www.mipa.org/midwest-book-awards. Follow @MIPAMidwestBookAwards on Facebook for updates on how to join the event on June 27.
The Midwest Book Awards, which began in 1989, is organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA). Founded in 1984, MiPA exists today as a vibrant professional nonprofit association that serves the Midwest independent publishing community through education, networking, and peer recognition.