Oct. 25, 2007 — Reverend France Davis’s biography, France Davis: An American Story Told, received the 2006 Utah Book Award in non-fiction. The Utah Book Award, given through the Utah Center for the Book, was established to honor outstanding achievements by Utah writers and to recognize books written with a Utah theme or setting. The award was presented to Rev. Davis yesterday at the Utah Humanities Book Festival held at the Salt Lake Public Library.

Davis’s book, recorded and written by Nayra Atiya, chronicles the life story of Rev. France Davis, the pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. It is an engaging story of courage and vision that describes coming of age in the segregation-era South and living at the forefront of major issues. It was released in October, 2006 by the University of Utah Press.

John Herbert, interim director of the University of Utah Press, comments, “We are delighted by Rev. Davis’s award and the other awards our books have received this year. How fortunate we are to have such high caliber authors publishing with our Press.” Rev. Davis’s award is the fourth significant award in the last 12 months for University of Utah Press publications.

In May, Scottish Shepherd: The Life and Times of John Murray Murdock, Utah Pioneer by Kenneth W. Merrill received the Evans Handcart Award from the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies at Utah State University. The Evans Handcart Award was established in 1996 and carries a $1,000 prize.

Also in May, Levi Peterson’s A Rascal by Nature, A Christian by Yearning: A Mormon Autobiography received the Turner-Bergera best biography award from the Mormon History Association. The award carried a $1,200 prize.

In January, Southwest Archeology in the Twentieth Century, edited by Linda S. Cordell and Don D. Fowler, was named a 2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. This book reviews the histories of major archaeological topics of the region during the twentieth century, with particular attention to the vast changes in southwestern archaeology during the later decades of the century. Nancy Parezo of the University of Arizona, comments that the book is “a tribute to the work that has been undertaken by generations of American and Mexican archaeologists to make the culture area truly one of the most studied in the world.”

The University of Utah Press falls under the administration of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Joyce Ogburn, university librarian, states, “Publishing high-quality scholarly works every year, the Press contributes immeasurably to our intellectual wealth. We are very proud of its achievements.”

To learn more about these four award winners, visit

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