Fesperman wins award

September 02, 2004

The Baltimore Book Festival awarded its top prize in fiction this year to Dan Fesperman, a veteran reporter at The Sun, for his second novel, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows. The nonfiction prize went to Mary Ellen Hayward and Frank R. Shivers Jr. for The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History.

Anne Tyler was a runner-up in the fiction category for The Amateur Marriage. Runners-up in nonfiction were Tom Waldron, a former Sun reporter, for Pride of the Sea, about the sinking of the schooner the Pride of Baltimore in 1986, and Catherine Clinton for Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom.

Fesperman's book, a literary thriller, explores ethnic hatreds and atrocity in the Balkans, themes that also occupied his previous novel, Lie in the Dark. Once again, his central character is Vlado Petric, a former Bosnian cop now living in Germany but drawn back to his homeland to help investigate war crimes.

Fesperman, now an investigative reporter, covered the war in the former Yugoslavia for The Sun.

For The Architecture of Baltimore, Hayward and Shivers assembled nearly 600 illustrations and a group of critics and scholars to assess the city's diverse and rich landscape.

The prizes will be presented during the Baltimore Book Festival, which runs from Sept. 17-19. For information about the festival, call 877-BALTIMORE or visit www.baltimorebook festival.com.

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