New York City-based author Tara Westover has been awarded the 15 Bytes Book Award for creative nonfiction for her memoir Educated, published by Random House. She received her bachelor’s from Brigham Young University.
Our jurors wrote of the book:
Born from torn metal, broken glass, and gasoline in the shadow of a Judgment Day patriarch, Westover weaves a story that recounts her rise from harrowing obscurity in rural Idaho to decorated Gates Cambridge Scholar.
In Educated, Westover details her upbringing in a Mormon family where “learning is only prized if it is from the Bible, Book of Mormon, or her own father’s musings. Home-schooled where home is a reality of mystical healing inside and a dangerous wrecking yard outside, Westover takes responsibility for her own education. And her own safety. And her own soul. And soul is what this memoir gives to its readers. With unsentimental, blameless storytelling, Westover shows how the desire for intellect and self-rule can be nurtured and ignited even when it may come at the cost of love, of one’s past, and of blood — blood both generational and blood spilled straight from the vein.”
Read our review from Ann Poore here.
Since 2013, Artists of Utah has recognized excellence in publishing associated with Utah and Utah writers with its annual 15 Bytes Book Awards. Books published in the previous calendar year written by a Utah writer or with a Utah connection are considered by a panel of invited jurors in the categories of art book, fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. A small cash prize is awarded to the winner.
Tessa Fontaine (for The Electric Woman) and Katharine Coles (for Look Both Ways) were finalists for this year’s creative nonfiction award. See here for more on the finalists.
Join us for the awards ceremony and a reading and book sale / signing with the finalists, Katharine Coles and Tessa Fontaine at Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m., part of the annual, six-week-long Utah Humanities Book Festival, a critical funder of the event.