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Zocalo announces finalists for its first book prize

March 5, 2011 | 12:55 pm

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Zocalo Public Square, the L.A.-based public discussion series, has announced the finalists for its first-ever book prize: "Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light" by Jane Brox, "What Technology Wants" by Kevin Kelly, and Peter Lovenheim's "In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time."

The prize will be awarded to a book of nonfiction, specifically to "the book that most effectively — and most creatively, strikingly, or enjoyably — enhances our understanding of community."

Zocalo Public Square's discussions are wide-ranging, including topics such as healthcare, international affairs and the arts, and are marked by a lively engagement with ideas. This is, perhaps, the shared trait among the books that have been selected as finalists -- lively, engaging.

The winner of the Zocalo Public Square Book Prize will be announced next week. The prize itself -- which comes with $5,000, provided by sponsor Southern California Gas Co. -- will be awarded on April 8, at an event at Museum of Contemporary Art that will include a lecture by the winning author.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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