“I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing,” he told me when I explained the prize to him. “I am honored to be a part of it.”
The Dan’s Papers Literary Prize is currently receiving entries for this award. The contest began on April 1 and will continue until August 1, when the entry process ends. Entrants will write pieces of nonfiction—biography, memoir, humor, opinion, history, a day in the life, autobiography etc.—of between 600 and 1,500 words.
The winner of the prize will receive $5,000. There will be two runners-up who will receive $500 each. An awards ceremony will be held in the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton on Saturday, August 25 between 4 and 6 pm.
A full list of rules can be found at danshamptons.com/literaryprize. You can also enter the contest there.
Robert Caro is one of the most celebrated writers of nonfiction in the English-speaking world. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography The Power Broker, about the legendary city planner Robert Moses. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for Master of the Senate, one of the three volumes he has written about the life of Lyndon Johnson. Other awards he has won include the National Book Award, the Mencken Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Carl Sandberg Award in Literature and the National Humanities Medal.
His fourth volume about the life of Lyndon Johnson, Passage to Power will be published next month, and in anticipation of that, an excerpt from it was published in The New Yorker last week, and as the cover story for the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday.
Caro has a home in East Hampton, an apartment in New York and spends one month every year in Paris. Born in Manhattan, he was educated at Princeton and Harvard and, before embarking on a career in writing his biographies, was a journalist for metropolitan New York newspapers.
“I am trying to make clear through my writing something which I believe: that biography—history in general—can be literature in the deepest and highest sense of that term,” Caro told Newsweek not long ago.