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NEH announces $1.7 million in grants for nonfiction books

NEW YORK (AP) — Prize-winning authors Diane McWhorter and Edward Ball are among 36 recipients of grants from a new government program that supports scholarly nonfiction books, a struggling genre in recent years.

The National Endowment of the Humanities announced Tuesday it was awarding $1.7 million for such projects as McWhorter’s study of the post-World War II era in Huntsville, Alabama, and Wendy Lesser’s biography of architect Louis Kahn. Grants, most of them around $50,000, also went to Ball for a book on his great-great-grandfather, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and for Philip Dray’s history of hunting.

The rise of e-books and the demise of the Borders superstore chain have hurt histories and biographies, which often take several years to complete and depend much more than fiction on sales of paper editions.

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