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Judy Blume, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Erika Sanchez to receive Sandburg honors


Novelist Judy Blume and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson are the recipients of the 2018 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation, it was announced Wednesday.

Judy Blume | Elena Seibert Photo

Blume, whose works include “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Summer Sisters,” and deGrasse, whose works include  “Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries” and his best-selling memoir “The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist,” and whose television credits include the PBS series “Nova” and NatGeo’s “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” will be honored at a gala awards dinner Oct. 9 at The Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“It would be difficult to choose two other authors whose works have had such far-reaching impact,” said Chicago Public Library Foundation President & CEO Rhona Frazin, in Wednesday’s announcement. “Almost every girl growing up since the 1970s has had her life changed by the works of Judy Blume, and Dr. Tyson has brought complex scientific information to a massive world-wide audience — making it both fun and understandable.”

Erika Sanchez | Robin Lindemann

Also honored will be poet/novelist Erika Sanchez (“Lessons of Expulsion,” “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”), who will receive the 2018 21st Century Award, “which honors significant recent achievements in writing by an author with ties to Chicago.”

“Erika Sánchez published two very different books in 2017, and was immediately recognized as an author with a fresh, exciting voice,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner & CEO Brian Bannon, via the announcement. “Her debut novel for young people was widely acclaimed as a funny, candid look at growing up Latina. We are thrilled to join in the celebration of this remarkable Chicago talent.”