Kevin Birmingham has won the 2016 Truman Capote Award for “The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses.”
The director of the Humanities 10 Writing, and a visiting lecturer this past spring in the English Department, Birmingham is the first author to receive this prestigious award for a first book. “The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses” was the recipient of the 2015 PEN New England Award for Nonfiction, and Dwight Garner, reviewing “The Most Dangerous Book” in The New York Times wrote: “Mr Birmingham…appears fully formed in this, his first book. The historian and the writer in him are utterly in sync. He marches through this material with authority and grace, an instinct for detail and smacking quotation and a fair amount of wit. It’s a measured yet bravura performance.”
Birmingham received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2009, and he will accept the Truman Capote Award this fall at the University of Iowa. Past recipients include Helen Vendler, Kingsley Porter University Professor; Seamus Heaney; Elaine Scarry, Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value; and Philip Fisher, Felice Crowl Reid Professor of English.