Arts and Entertainment

Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel-winner Nora Krug to speak Oct. 16

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nora Krug, 2019 winner of the Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year, will receive the award on Wednesday, Oct. 16, for “Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home.” Krug’s talk will include a visual presentation and discussion of her latest work, described on her website as “equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook and investigative narrative.” 

The award ceremony and author talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event will also be streamed online for viewing via Zoom. A book sale and signing with the author will follow the presentation.

Nora Krug Credit: Nina SubinAll Rights Reserved.

“'Belonging,'” the jury stated, “is rich storytelling that winnows a human connection out of loss and reckoning. This graphic memoir feels part diary, part archival record, and the outcome is both personal and educational – about German identity, and about the collective cultural aftermath of the Holocaust.” 

The jury also awarded one honor book: “On a Sunbeam,” by Tillie Walden and published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. About it, the jury said: “'On a Sunbeam,' a love-epic traveling through space and time, comes alive through sublime art that sweeps the reader through a vibrant, lush world of Tillie Walden’s invention. It is a stunning exploration of space, identity and love that is aesthetically sophisticated and connects with feelings of intimacy and escapism.”

The Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year is sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. It is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident.

“The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, with Penn State University Libraries, is thrilled to host winning author Nora Krug, in recognition of her significant achievement with this unique graphic memoir, mining family history and archival research in tandem with illustration,” said Ellysa Stern Cahoy, assistant director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, and educational and behavioral sciences librarian.

The award’s selection jury includes representatives from various Penn State academic departments who use the graphic novel in their teaching or research, as well as representatives with graphic-novel expertise from among Penn State’s alumni and students.

About the Lynd Ward Prize

Established in 2011, the Lynd Ward Prize honors Ward’s formative influence in the development of the graphic novel and celebrates the gift of an extensive collection of Ward’s wood engravings, original book illustrations and other graphic art donated to the Penn State University Libraries by his daughters Robin Ward Savage and Nanda Weedon Ward. Recently, the University Libraries digitized the collection, titled Lynd Ward Wood Engravings and Other Graphic Art, circa 1920-1975, and made it available online.

Co-sponsors with the Pennsylvania Center for the Book for the Lynd Ward Prize include Barbara I. Dewey, dean of the Penn State University Libraries and Scholarly Communications; Penn State University Libraries; the Eberly Family Special Collections Library; Library Learning Services; the English Department in the College of the Liberal Arts; and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Ward, creator of the first American wordless novel, “God’s Man,” produced it and five additional groundbreaking wordless novels between 1929 and 1937 — “Madman’s Drum,” “Wild Pilgrimage,” “Prelude to a Million Years,” “Songs without Words” and “Vertigo.” They have been re-issued by the Library of America in a two-volume boxed set titled “Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts,” the first time the nonprofit publisher has included a graphic novelist in its award-winning series. 

For more information about the Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year, or questions about accommodations at the ceremony, contact Caroline Wermuth at 814-863-5472 or For more information about the selection criteria and how to submit books for consideration for the 2020 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, contact Ellysa Stern Cahoy at 814-865-9696 or, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s website.

"Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home" by Nora Krug, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, has won the 2019 Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year. In her visual memoir, Krug “draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, 'Belonging' is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts,” according to Krug’s website. Credit: Image courtesy of Scribner, an imprint of Simon and SchusterAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated October 03, 2019