Perry wins non-fiction prize for ‘South to America’

The US National Book Award for non-fiction was won last week by Imani Perry for South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, in which Perry, a professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, New Jersey, returns to the American South — she was born in Birmingham, Alabama — to examine race, culture, politics and identity.

Reviewing the book in The New York Times, Tayari Jones said that it “straddles genre, kicks down the fourth wall, dances with poetry, engages with literary criticism and flits from journalism to memoir to academic writing”.

  The “100 notable books of 2022”, chosen by staff of The New York Times Book Review, include Life Between the Tides by Adam Nicolson, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton and — my own favourite — Solito by Javier Zamora.

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