Borders Announces 2004 Original Voices Award Winners

Posted on February 25, 2005

Borders has announced the adult fiction and nonfiction winners of the Borders Original Voices Awards, the retailer's program that honors emerging and innovative authors. Winners will receive $5,000 and their books will receive special attention at Borders Books and Music stores nationwide.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind (Penguin Books) won top honors in the fiction category from a field of six finalists. According to members of the Borders selection committee, Ruiz Zafon's novel is a "great story about the magic, wonder and mystical power of books. It is full of feelings and moments that any booklover will immediately recognize as ones they've experienced themselves." The Shadow of the Wind, set in 1950s Barcelona, is the story of a boy's quest to find the mysterious author of an old book that has captivated his attention, and the twists and turns that lead him on a nearly parallel journey to that of the man he hopes to find.

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts, written by Julian Rubinstein and published by Little, Brown, was the nonfiction winner among six finalists. Rubinstein chronicles the life and exploits of one of the most charming and memorable villains of the 20th century -- Budapest's legendary outlaw, Attila Ambrus. Members of the Borders selection committee commented that Ambrus' story is a "great example of truth being stranger than fiction. Rubinstein makes readers feel the thrill of following Ambrus in all of his harrowing and sometimes comical exploits -- from pelt smuggling to playing goalie to robbing banks."

"Our committee members reviewed an outstanding list of nominees for the 2004 Borders Original Voices fiction and nonfiction awards," said Mike Spinozzi, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Borders Group, Inc. "The two winning titles represent the best-of-the-best from the over 200 Original Voices titles featured in our stores throughout 2004. We are proud to honor Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Julian Rubinstein for their exceptional works."

The winners in the children's pictures books and young adult/intermediate readers categories were announced on January 13, 2005. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (Hyperion) won in Picture Books and Ida B by Katherine Hannigan won the Young Adult category.

The six nominees in each category were chosen by Borders store employees and corporate office employees and the winners were selected by a cross-functional panel of judges at the corporate office, who volunteered to read each book nominated and serve in several group discussions on the nominated books.

Throughout the year, the Borders Original Voices program features the works of more than 200 contemporary authors/illustrators from around the world in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, young adult and picture books. The monthly program highlights new books from new and emerging talents. All featured titles receive special placement in Borders stores, and are also highlighted in the in-store magazine, "Borders This Month." Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies with more than 1,200 stores and over 32,000 employees worldwide.