I am very pleased for authors Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak that their biography Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, and Hollywood Brawler has won a Gold award in Foreword Magazine‘s annual recognition of the best books of the past year. Winning books were selected by a panel of librarians and booksellers.
I had put the book on my best list for 2011, blogging about in a foundational post called Lost American Writer Found: Jim Tully and again after the authors gave a presentation at NYU last April when I posted A Book Talk on Jim Tully. In the first post I wrote that the authors,
steep the reader in Tully’s lifelong struggle to make himself into a significant person; glimpsing his continual act of self-creation is what I found thrilling about this book. The authors chronicle how even in relatively prosperous years, he continued striving to create himself and forge his work. Family agonies–his son Alton served several jail terms for brutal assaults on women–sapped Tully’s energies and darkened many of his latter days. Sadly, he lived along enough to see his reputation and book sales decline, leaving him to ponder what kind of country no longer cared to read about the travails of its have-nots, even while America roared ahead into the second half of the century. I felt Tully’s sorrow as his reputation ebbed and editors no longer kept him in demand for assignments.
It’s a great book and along with the judges at Foreword Magazine, I recommend it highly.