Award Winning Titles

Indiana University Press is proud that our books have received over 60 awards (and counting!) during the 2020-2021 calendar year. Many congratulations to our well-deserving authors!

Award-Winning Books

Overthrowing the Queen

Winner: Brian McConnell Award

Overthrowing the Queen

Telling Stories of Welfare in America

Tom Mould

In 1976, Ronald Reagan hit the campaign trail with an extraordinary account of a woman committing massive welfare fraud. The story caught fire and a devastating symbol of the misuse government programs was born: the Welfare Queen. Overthrowing the Queen examines these legends of fraud and abuse while bringing to light personal stories of hardship and hope told by cashiers, bus drivers, and business owners; politicians and aid providers; and, most important, aid recipients themselves. Together these stories reveal how the seemingly innocent act of storytelling can create not only powerful stereotypes that shape public policy, but also redemptive counter-narratives that offer hope of a more accurate, fair, and empathetic view of poverty in America today. Overthrowing the Queen tackles perceptions of welfare recipients while proposing new approaches to the study of oral narrative that extend far beyond the study of welfare, poverty, and social justice.

The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland

Runner-up: INDIES Book Award

The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland

James H. Madison

"Who is an American?" asked the Ku Klux Klan. It is a question that echoes as loudly today as it did in the early twentieth century. But who really joined the Klan? Were they "hillbillies, the Great Unteachables" as one journalist put it? It would be comforting to think so, but how then did they become one of the most powerful political forces in our nation's history?

In The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland, renowned historian James H. Madison details the creation and reign of the infamous organization. Through the prism of their operations in Indiana and the Midwest, Madison explores the Klan's roots in respectable white protestant society. Convinced that America was heading in the wrong direction because of undesirable "un-American" elements, Klan members did not see themselves as bigoted racist extremists but as good Christian patriots joining proudly together in a righteous moral crusade.

The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland offers a detailed history of this powerful organization and examines how, through its use of intimidation, religious belief, and the ballot box, the ideals of Klan in the 1920s have on-going implications for America today.

No Place Like Murder

Commended: ABF Best Book Award

No Place Like Murder

True Crime in the Midwest

Janis Thornton, Larry Sweazy, Ray E. Boomhower

A modern retelling of 20 sensational true crimes, No Place Like Murder reveals the inside details behind nefarious acts that shocked the Midwest between 1869 and 1950. The stories chronicle the misdeeds, examining the perpetrators' mindsets, motives, lives, apprehensions, and trials, as well as what became of them long after.
True crime author Janis Thornton profiles notorious murderers such as Frankie Miller, who was fed up when her fiancé stood her up for another woman. As fans of the song "Frankie and Johnny" already know, Frankie met her former lover at the door with a shotgun.
Thornton's tales reveal the darker side of life in the Midwest, including the account of Isabelle Messmer, a plucky young woman who dreamed of escaping her quiet farm-town life. After she nearly took down two tough Pittsburgh policemen in 1933, she was dubbed "Gun Girl" and went on to make headlines from coast to coast. In 1942, however, after a murder conviction in Texas, she vowed to do her time and go straight. Full of intrigue and revelations, No Place Like Murder also features such folks as Chirka and Rasico, the first two Hoosier men to die in the electric chair after they brutally murdered their wives in 1913. The two didn't meet until their fateful last night.
An enthralling and chilling collection, No Place Like Murder is sure to thrill true crime lovers.

The Perfect Persimmon

Winner: Royal Dragonfly Best Book - Nonfiction

The Perfect Persimmon

History, Recipes, and More

Michelle Medlock Adams

Whether served in a batch of cookies or in a soup bowl, the persimmon is a favorite fruit of Midwesterners. Called the "divine fruit" or the "fruit of the gods," persimmons range from the American common persimmon, perfect for every kind of dessert, to Fuyu persimmons, a variety from China that has since won many hearts.



In The Perfect Persimmon, award-winning journalist Michelle Medlock Adams serves up persimmon expertise, from knowing when the fruit is at its ripest to sharing the best preparation techniques. Adams hails from the birthplace of the Mitchell Persimmon Festival in Lawrence County, Indiana, where the Midwest's best-kept secret, persimmon pudding, has people flocking toward what some consider the persimmon capital of the world.



Armed with a love of persimmons that has been nurtured from a young age, Adams has collected the best persimmon recipes, guaranteed to satisfy any hankering for the savory or the sweet. Accompanying these recipes are personal anecdotes detailing childhood memories and folktales about greedy possums, wise turtles, and the persimmon seed's ability to predict winter forecasts, providing a colorful context for this favored fruit.

Modern Cast Iron

Runner-up: ABF Best Book Award

Modern Cast Iron

The Complete Guide to Selecting, Seasoning, Cooking, and More

Ashley L. Jones

Warm, crumbly cornbread. Chicken sizzling in the pan. Childhood memories filled with delicious, home-cooked dishes and your family there to enjoy it with you. Cast iron's popularity faded in the '70s—replaced by chemically processed cookware—but today's cooks are reigniting a passion for wholesome cast-iron-cooked meals. This ain't your grandma's kitchen—caring for and cooking with cast iron is easy, healthy, and totally Pinterest worthy.

In Modern Cast Iron, self-proclaimed cast-iron connoisseur Ashley L. Jones recaptures the ease and joy of cooking with cast-iron cookware. Jones introduces readers to the best brands and types of cast-iron cookware to fulfill any cook's needs. She offers detailed tips and tricks for rescuing old, rusted pans and keeping them properly seasoned, and she shares recommendations for the best cooking oil for every recipe. With Jones's help, both experienced and beginner cooks will be able to rival grandma's cooking. Chock-full of stories from Jones's own childhood growing up with cast-iron meals, as well as recipe after tantalizing recipe—from breakfast quiche to gluten-free meals and beautiful blueberry cobbler—Modern Cast Iron explores the countless ways that cast iron benefits health and happiness.

A comprehensive guide to all things cast iron and home-style cookin', Modern Cast Iron offers a new way for cooks to spice up the kitchen using all-natural tools and ingredients.