Last week we learned that Thrums Books won a prestigious Benjamin Franklin Book Award given by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Two awards, in fact.
Maya Threads: A Woven History of Chiapas by Walter F. Morris and Carol Karasik, with photography by Janet Schwartz, won the Gold award in the Multicultural category.
Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives, by Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordón, with photography by Joe Coca, won the Silver award in the same category. Michael Signorella designed both books.
The Benjamin Franklin awards recognize excellence in editorial content, photography, and design in about 50 different categories. It is one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.
Author Deborah Chandler attended the ceremonies. In addition to receiving her Silver award for Traditional Weavers of Guatemala, she graciously accepted the Gold award on behalf of Thrums Books. In her speech, she explained that each of the three finalists in the Multicultural category, which also included Becky Field’s Different Roots, Common Dreams: New Hampshire’s Cultural Diversity, is about knowing people in other cultures. “If you know someone,” she said, “if you understand someone, you don’t hate them.” Publisher Linda Ligon echoed that idea, taking it a step further, “The artisans and the work featured in these books are vivid reminders of our common humanity and our connections to the past across cultures.”
And that’s what our books are about. It’s an honor, and fun, to have the fancy gold and silver stickers and the nifty crystal trophies. But it is the richness of our connection to the artisans whose stories we tell, and their traditions, that make us true winners.