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Friday, August 18, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Book Buzz

Debut novels earn Seattle- area authors

Two Seattle-area authors are among the winners of the 2006 American Book Award: MacKenzie Bezos for her debut novel, "The Testing of Luther Albright" (HarperPerennial), and Matt Briggs for his first novel, "Shoot the Buffalo" (Clear Cut Press). The awards, given by the Before Columbus Foundation, are in their 26th year and aim "to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community."

Briggs' book depicts a family stricken by loss when they attempt to "reinvent the American family" in the woods near Snoqualmie. Times reviewer Nisi Shawl called this "a small, perfect book about large, messy things," and praised Briggs' handling of "the Pacific Northwest's seductive dangers and somber delights."

Bezos' book is narrated by a father whose efforts backfire when he tries too hard not to be like his own father in his dealings with his teenage son. Times reviewer Wingate Packard was mixed on the book, but found Bezos to be a "meticulous writer."

An awards ceremony will be in Oakland, Calif., in October.

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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