SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—Matthew Karanian’s groundbreaking book Historic Armenia After 100 Years received the top honor for best independently published history book during the annual Benjamin Franklin Book Awards ceremony held on April 8 in Salt Lake City.
The Independent Book Publishers Association, the largest association of publishers in the U.S., awarded the prize.
It is the first time that a book about Armenia has earned this top award.
Nearly 1,400 titles, all published in 2015, competed for recognition. The award is one of the highest national honors for independent publishers in the U.S.
Historic Armenia After 100 Years is the first-ever historical guide to the cultural sites of Western Armenia, and includes 125 color photographs and maps.
Karanian accepted the gold medal during a gala awards ceremony that was attended by more than 250 authors and publishers from throughout the U.S. Karanian told the group that he wrote the book in order to shine a bright light on the often-overlooked history of Armenia.
“Armenia is one of the oldest nations in the world that nobody’s ever heard of,” Karanian told the audience. He added that the book is a celebration of Armenia, and not a eulogy.
“Armenia was almost destroyed in 1915 during the first genocide of the 20th century. But the nation survived. This book is a celebration of that survival,” Karanian said during his acceptance speech.
The Benjamin Franklin Book Award is known informally in the publishing industry as a “Benny” and has been awarded each year since 1983. The award recognizes the best independently published books among diverse categories, which include fiction, memoir, photography, travel, and history. A panel of publishing professionals and librarians judge the books each year.
This is the second time this year that Historic Armenia has been recognized with a prestigious national award. Foreword Reviews recognized the book earlier this year as a finalist in the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. The top winner of that book prize will be celebrated during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. in June.
The complete list of the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Book Award winners is available online at www.ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com.
Historic Armenia After 100 Years is sold at independent bookstores and at Barnes and Noble in the U.S., and is available for purchase online from the publisher, Stone Garden Press, by visiting www.HistoricArmeniaBook.com, as well as from the Hairenik Bookstore, at www.hairenik.com.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West