The 2015 Montana Book Award winner is "The Lentil Underground" by Liz Carlisle, published by Gotham Books.
This annual award recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues. Presentations and a reception with the winning authors will take place on Wednesday, April 6, during the Montana Library Association Conference in Missoula.
"Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America" tells the inspiring story of David Oien and other Montana organic farmers who work with heirloom seeds and biologically diverse farm systems. Carlisle is a a native of Missoula.
Under the brand Timeless Natural Food, their unique business movement has grown into a million-dollar enterprise.
Four honor books were also chosen by the 2015 Montana Book Award Committee:
- "Black River" by S.M. Hulse published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. A former prison guard and talented fiddler returns to his Montana hometown, based on Deer Lodge, to bury his wife and confront the inmate who, twenty years ago, held him hostage during a prison riot. Hulse, a Spokane native, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana.
- "Crossing the Plains with Bruno" by Annick Smith of Missoula, published by Trinity University Press. Annick Smith weaves together a memoir of travel, western history, family history, human love and animal love centering around a two-week road trip across the Great Plains with her chocolate lab, Bruno.
- "Hawthorn: The Tree that has Nourished, Healed, and Inspired through the Ages" by Bill Vaughn of Missoula, published by Yale University Press. As entertaining as it is illuminating, Bill Vaughn examines the little-recognized political, cultural, and natural history of this ancient spiky plant.
- "Tunnel Vision" by Susan Adrian of Butte, published by St. Martins/Griffin. A young adult novel with romance and action crashing together when a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.
In addition, Ivan Doig will be remembered and honored for his body of Montana writing during this year’s reception and presentations.
The Montana Book Award was founded by the Friends of the Missoula Public Library in 2001, with winners selected by a committee of individuals representing areas throughout Montana. Members of the 2015 Montana Book Award committee included: Dale Alger, Roundup; Sean Anderson, Kalispell; Mareta Brusett, Jordan; Desiree Funston, Missoula; Stef Johnson, Butte: Tamara Miller, Bozeman; Jessie Pate, Helena: and Stacy Walenter, Troy.