The Los Angeles Times announced the winners of the 44th annual Book Prizes on April 19.

Winners were announced in 13 categories for works published last year, including the new prize for achievement in audiobook production, presented by Audible. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.

Joya Chatterji’s Shadows at Noon: The South Asian Twentieth Century won the best history book award. Published by Yale University Press in the US and Penguin Random House in India, it tells the subcontinent’s story from the British Raj to independence and partition and the forging of the modern nations of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The book’s structure is thematic rather than chronological. Each of the chapters illuminates an overarching theme or sphere that has shaped South Asia over the course of the century. The book’s purpose is to make contemporary South Asia intelligible to readers who are fascinated by the subcontinent's cultural vibrancy and diversity but are often perplexed by its social and political make-up. And it illuminates the many aspects that its people have in common rather than what divides them.

The other winners are:

  • Audiobook: Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir, Dion Graham and Elishia Merricks

  • First Fiction: Company: Stories, Shannon Sanders

  • Biography: The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of The Bondwoman’s Narrative, Gregg Hecimovich

  • Autobiographical Prose: Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma, Claire Dederer

  • Current Interest: We Were Once A Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America, Roxanna Asgarian

  • Fiction: Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel, Ed Park

  • Graphic Novel/Comics: A Guest in the House, Emily Carroll

  • History: Shadows at Noon: The South Asian Twentieth Century, Joya Chatterji

  • Mystery/Thriller: Sing Her Down: A Novel, Ivy Pochoda

  • Poetry: Bread and Circus: Poems, Airea D Matthews

  • Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction: The Reformatory: A Novel, Tananarive Due

  • Science and Technology: Is Math Real? How Simple Questions Lead Us to Mathematics’ Deepest Truths, Eugenia Cheng

  • Young Adult Literature: Gone Wolf, Amber McBride