T.C. Boyle at the powerHouse Arena, Dumbo, Brooklyn in 2010. Photo by Krzyszof Poluchowicz (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
T.C. Boyle at the powerHouse Arena, Dumbo, Brooklyn in 2010. Photo by Krzyszof Poluchowicz (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

T.C. Boyle will receive the 2014 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and LeVar Burton will be presented with the Innovator’s Award during the 20th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, it was announced Wednesday.

The awards, along with Los Angeles Times Book Prizes in 10 categories, will be presented on the first day of what’s touted as the nation’s largest public literary festival, to be held April 18-19 on the USC campus.

“T.C. Boyle has had a long-standing presence as both a writer and a teacher in the Southern California literary world,” said Times book critic David L. Ulin. “His stature within our community is unique, from the breadth of his novels and stories to his engagement with his students and role as a mentor.”

The Santa Barbara-based writer and USC English professor has published 14 novels and more than 100 short stories. Boyle’s work has been translated into more than two dozen languages and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy, among other publications.

LeVar Burton. Photo courtesy Reading Rainbow.

Burton is the recipient of an award “which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art.”

“As someone who has influenced young people through the Reading Rainbow television show and continued advocacy of children’s literature over more than 25 years, LeVar Burton embodies the very spirit of the Innovator’s Award,” Ulin said.

“His phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign to re-launch Reading Rainbow in app and web-based forms exemplifies forward thinking and illustrates the way a time-tested and beloved brand can reach a whole new generation using modern technology,” he said.

The Book Prizes recognize 50 works in 10 categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult literature.

Finalists and winners are selected by judging panels composed of writers who specialize in each genre.

The complete list of this year’s finalists is available at latimes.com/bookprizes.

Tickets for the awards ceremony will go on sale later this month.

— City News Service

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