Best book award – June 2021

My book “Writing the Self in Bereavement” has won the BEST BOOK AWARD for Ethnography. This was announced on June 10th, 2021.

It is the H.L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr./Nick Trujillo “It’s a Way of Life” Award”

This award is based on a work that “exemplifies excellence in storytelling informed by scholarship and intended for both scholarly and public audiences”.

Dr. Carolyn Ellis writes this about the book:

“This is a remarkable book about love, loss, and the resilience of the self in bereavement. In this story, Reinekke Lengelle portrays her love for her life- and work-partner Frans Meijers, her grief over losing him, the details of his death by euthanasia, and how she lived through it all. She invites readers to share the experience as she is living, remembering, interpreting, and writing it. She calls on evocative autoethnography and self-writing to understand and convey to readers the process of working through memory and loss, maintaining continuous bonds with Frans, and simultaneously moving on. She leaves few stones unturned as she writes herself deeply into the experience and opens up her vulnerable selves for her own and her readers’ examination. For example, she reveals the tight bond she and Frans had, the sexual desire that she felt for him (and continued to feel after he died), the desire sparked by a new love, and what she calls their “unfinished business.” In vivid, artful, and imaginative prose, she encourages readers to feel we are there with her in intimate situations, such as her imagined conversations with Frans about their relationship, lying with him as he was dying, or washing his body after his physician-assisted death.” Carolyn Ellis

Background of the award

At the end of Writing the New Ethnography, Dr. H.L. (Bud, Buddy, Dr. Bud) Goodall, Jr. (2000) called on ethnographers to fully engage “a dialogic ethic and a transformational vision” aimed at “evolving to a higher state of scholarly consciousness” (p. 198). In his later work, he continued to urge ethnographers and other qualitative researchers to expand our audiences and to speak to issues that engage our communities, our cultures, and our world in a vibrant conversation about making the world a better place. As the founding member of the Ethnogs, Nick Trujillo (aka Gory Bateson) another of our great ethnographers, penned the song “The Anthem” to commemorate the fact that ethnography is not merely a method, but “a way of life.” He, too, wrote and taught the transformative powers of narrative/ethnographic scholarship. Together, these two pioneers shaped our way of thinking about and writing ethnography. Sadly, on August 24, 2012, our dear friend Bud lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. A mere two months later, Bud’s longtime friend, colleague, and fellow ethnographic pioneer, Nick Trujillo, also died, suddenly and unexpectedly. To honor their legacy, The H.L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr. and Nick Trujillo “It’s a Way of Life” Award has been established.This award will honor a published or other public work in narrative ethnography that “exemplifies excellence in storytelling informed by scholarship and intended for both scholarly and public audiences” (Bud’s words).

Each fall, the call for awards will be announced at the National Communication Association Conference, and the award will be granted the following spring at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The Awards Review Committee seeks nominations of published or publicly performed/screened* ethnographic work that engages a transformational vision, advances scholarship, and speaks to broad audiences across a variety of fields and walks of life.