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Best Local Author
READERS' PICK: A resident of Tucson for some 20 years now, Barbara Kingsolver is a homegrown writer who's hit the literary big time. And deservedly, too: Her novels, beginning with 1988's The Bean Trees and going on to last year's book of essays, High Tide in Tucson, address a wide range of social concerns with an uncommon poetry. They've earned an audience the world over. Putting her money to work, this year Kingsolver established a prize through her publisher, HarperCollins, to scout out and publish works of socially aware fiction by undiscovered writers.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Dr. Andrew Weil
doesn't particularly share Kingsolver's literary gifts, but what
he lacks in metaphor he more than makes up in clear prose that
non-medical readers of his health books can readily understand.
Tucsonan Weil, Harvard-trained and world-traveled, has turned
into a national media star for his up-to-the minute pairing of
conventional Western medicine with alternative therapies. Both
Weil (a UA Medical School professor) and Kingsolver did much for
their hometown's literary rep this year by lingering long on The
New York Times bestseller list. For months on end, Weil's
new book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, was on the How-To
books list. His earlier Spontaneous Healing was on the
paperback list with Kingsolver's essays, High Tide in Tucson.