Sam Quinones wins National Book Critics Circle Nonfiction Award for “Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic”

NEW YORK – Sam Quinones, a California-based journalist with deep reporting experience in Mexico, was awarded the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award for Nonfiction during a March 17 ceremony at the New School in New York.

Quinones’s book, “Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” was described by NBCC judges as “masterful and sobering. ‘Dreamland’ is like a classic tragedy in which what we fervently wanted, an absence of pain, turned out in many cases more damaging than anyone could have imagined.”

The judges said, “Dreamland is a devastating dive into what may be America’s most extensive drug crisis. Quinones masterfully weaves together individual tales from all quarters of the epidemic. It all came together in what Quinones calls a catastrophic synergy in which over prescription formed a generation of addicts.”

In accepting the award, Quinones said his research “took me all over this country” before he finally set his story in “a Rust Belt town that had been beaten down…the town of Portsmouth, Ohio.”

Portsmouth has been devastated by addiction, as have hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. But it is in Portsmouth that Quinones said he found hope.

“They are finding the wherewithal to build community,” he said. In other cities and towns across America, however, Quinones said he found “a story of isolation over community.”

Quinones, a contributing journalist with InquireFirst, credited his experience as a crime reporter in Stockton, Ca., with shaping him as a writer.

“That’s where I learned how to tell crime stories, how to cover murder, cover gangs, cover drug trafficking, and write my ass off for four years of the most withering crime rates anyone has ever experienced,” he said.

Quinones also spent 10 years reporting in Mexico, an experience he describes as “life changing.” Mexico was “where I could focus on characters, where I could focus on a changing country.”

Quinones, who lives in Los Angeles, is the author of two earlier books: “Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream” and “True Tales from Another Mexico.”

More of Awards

Executive Editor Susan White awarded 2015 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism

Executive Editor Susan White awarded 2015 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism

PALO ALTO, Ca. -- InquireFirst Executive Editor Susan White and Center for Public Integrity Editor Jim Morris traveled to Stanford University in February to accept the 2015 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism.
Continue
Historias Sin Fronteras project is shortlisted for award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting

Historias Sin Fronteras project is shortlisted for award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting

We are thrilled to announce that "Transgender in Latin America," a cross-border science journalism project reported and written by Latin American science writers Valeria Román, Debbie Ponchner, Margaret López and Carmina de la Luz Ramírez
Continue
InquireFirst intern awarded CASW data reporting grant

InquireFirst intern awarded CASW data reporting grant

WASHINGTON, D.C. — InquireFirst intern Jennifer Lu has been awarded a $5,000 special reporting grant by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) Taylor/Blakeslee Project Fellowship Program to report on the urgent problems
Continue
InquireFirst journalist awarded Alicia Patterson Fellowship

InquireFirst journalist awarded Alicia Patterson Fellowship

WASHINGTON, D.C. — InquireFirst reporter Elizabeth Douglass has been awarded a $40,000 Alicia Patterson fellowship to support her reporting on the nation’s deteriorating drinking water infrastructure. She has also received a $9,000 grant from the
Continue
InquireFirst Journalist Wins Prestigious Fellowship

InquireFirst Journalist Wins Prestigious Fellowship

NEW YORK -- InquireFirst correspondent Elizabeth Douglass is among four veteran journalists who have won grants of up to $15,000 as recipients of McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism. Nearly 80 journalists working in more than a
Continue
Lynne Friedmann named Beckman Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation

Lynne Friedmann named Beckman Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation

PHILADELPHIA – Lynne T. Friedmann, a San Diego-based freelance science journalist who serves on InquireFirst’s Advisory Council, has been named a 2016-17 Beckman Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), in Philadelphia. This fall she
Continue