WLA Literary Award: "Burned: A Memoir" by Louise Nayer

Posted by Lisa Strand on Monday, June 27, 2011 in Awards
The Literary Awards Committee of the Readers’ Section of the Wisconsin Library Association has chosen Burned: A Memoir by Louise Nayer of San Francisco (B.A. Madison, 1971) as the winner of the 2011 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, given for the highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author for a book published in 2010.

Burned: A Memoir is a beautifully written, touching, and emotionally charged story of a family and the tragic event that changed their lives forever. Weezie is only 4 when the accident happens. Through her young eyes we see the struggle of her parents to recover not only their physical but emotional selves in the aftermath of horrific injuries. Weezie and her sister, swept away to other caregivers, struggle to understand what has happened and to believe they will be reunited with their parents.

“In recreating the setting, emotions, and dialogue, Nayer writes in a way that makes the reader feel like a part of the story,” said Jean Anderson, Co-Chair of the Literary Awards Committee. “We want to reach out and stop Weezie’s mom from lighting the match that ignited the fire. We are deeply touched by the resilience and strength shown by the author and her family and are grateful she chose to share her story with us.”

The Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award is made possible by a grant from the WLA Foundation.

Also recognized this year is Bette Pesetsky, who is being honored as the 2011 Notable Wisconsin Author for her body of work. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Pesetsky’s works include: Stories up to a Point, Author from a Savage People, Digs, Midnight Sweets, Confessions of a Bad Girl, The Late Night Muse, Cast a Spell, as well as many short stories published in anthologies and periodicals.

The 2011 Outstanding Achievement awards for 2010 publications include the following 10 titles by Wisconsin authors.
•    Deborah Blum (Madison)—The Poisoner’s Handbook
•    M. Caren Connolly & Louis Wasserman (Milwaukee), and
Zane Williams (Madison)—Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes
•    Susanna Daniel (Madison)—Stiltsville
•    Lesley Kagen (Cedarburg)—Tomorrow River
•    Danielle L. McGuire (Janesville)—At the Dark End of the Street
•    Michael Schumacher (Milwaukee/Kenosha)—Will Eisner: A Dreamer’s Life in Comics
•    Mona Simpson (Green Bay)—My Hollywood
•    Skibell, Joseph (Madison)—A Curable Romantic
•    Patrick Somerville (Green Bay)—The Universe in Miniature in Miniature
•    Mary Helen Stefaniak (Milwaukee)—The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia

The 2011 Outstanding Achievement in Poetry awards for 2010 titles include the following four titles by Wisconsin authors.
•    B. J. Best (West Bend)—Birds of Wisconsin: Poems
•    Rebecca Dunham (Milwaukee)—The Flight Cage: Poems
•    Nick Lantz (Madison)—We Don’t Know, We Don’t Know
•    Nick Lantz (Madison)—The Lightning that Strikes the Neighbors’ House

The 2011 Literary Awards Committee members are: Jean Anderson (co-chair), Pat Chevis, Katrina Collins, Jane Jorgenson, Amy Lutzke (co-chair), Anne Paterson, Gerard Saylor, Andrew Scott, Deb Shapiro, and Jean Yeomans.

For more information about the work of the Literary Awards Committee, visit www.wla.lib.wi.us/readers/WLAC/lac.html.
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