Local WordFest coordinator, KLTV “Book Chat” host and author Alan Rose’s book “As If Death Summoned” recently was named a winner in the 22nd annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.
Rose’s book, released by Amble Press, an imprint of Bywater Books, on World Aids Day, Dec. 1, 2020, received the gold award in the LGBT category. The book is about the people who were caught in the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, according to a Daily News archived story.
Rose worked from 1993 to 1999 at the Cascade AIDS Project in Portland before coming to Longview to be the director of Community Services for the Lower Columbia Community Action Program.
In his book, he “captures the pathos, resilience and the death-defying humor of those days,” notes the TDN story. Foreward Review editors wrote “as heartwarming and hope-giving as it is heartbreaking. ‘As If Death Summoned’ showcases the best and worst aspects of the fight against HIV.”
A Clark County resident, Rose said the news of the award came as a total surprise.
“I was surprised and pleased when the book was named a finalist in spring, but I never thought I had a chance of actually winning,” Rose said in a press release submitted to The Daily News.
Foreward Reviews is a book review journal focusing on independently published books. Since 1998, it recognizes the best books published during the past year by independent and university presses.
Rose said he wanted to write the book since the 1990s.
“I promised myself that I would someday tell the stories of what happened here, what I witnessed in the midst of a modern plague,” he said in the release. “Not just the premature deaths and suffering, but also all the incredible kindness and courage and compassion I witnessed. And the humor, death-defying humor in the face of death.”
More than 2,100 entries were submitted in various categories for this year’s competition, with Foreword’s editors choosing the finalists.
The books were then mailed to librarians and booksellers charged with picking the gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention winners, notes the release.
“COVID-19 changed the world,” Editor in Chief Michelle Anne Schingler is quoted in the press release. “And the INDIES were no exception. While we ordinarily meet in person to vet the thousands of entrants and determine finalists, this year, we had to read books independently, and to come together afterward and discuss our impressions. What we discovered was heartening: We were in agreement about finalists, even when encountering books miles and days apart. We are happy to declare these books the best of the best that we saw.”
Receiving news of his award, Rose said it wasn’t celebration he felt so much as “a quiet peace. That I had kept my word. That I fulfilled my promise.”