Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago Press) by Seth Lerer ’76 has been honored with the 2010 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin. The $30,000 award, the largest annual cash prize in English-language literary criticism, is administered for the Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Lerer, dean of arts and humanities at the University of California San Diego, where he is distinguished professor in the Department of Literature, will receive the award in a free, public event at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus. Lerer will speak on “Criticism and the Classroom.”
The book previously won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. The study is a scholarly volume aimed at a broader reading audience, but it also is a kind of intellectual autobiography, touching on Lerer’s own youthful passion for reading and his experience as a parent.