Masha Hamilton has been named this year’s recipient of the Women’s National Book Association WNBA Award, which is presented to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”
Each of Hamilton’s books–Staircase of a Thousand Steps, (2001), The Distance Between Us, (2004), The Camel Bookmobile, (2007) –has received recognition, including Booksense picks, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and Library Journal’s best book of the year.
After writing The Camel Bookmobile, she, with the help of fellow writers M.J. Rose and Susan Ito (also LM Nonfiction Co-Editor), organized the Camel Book Drive. More than 235 authors participated in the initial effort. In 2009, she founded the Afghan Women’s Writing Project “to foster creative and intellectual exchange between Afghan women writers and American women authors and teachers.” Currently 83 American writers are involved in the mentoring program.
WNBA has made the award since 1940. Past recipients include former First Lady Barbara Bush, former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, librarian Nancy Pearl, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and literacy promoter, Dr. Perri Klass.