Last weekend, the James Beard Foundation handed out its 2019 media awards and among the list of winners was Fresno author Mark Arax. The awards were held in New York City as something akin to the Oscars for the literary world.
A victory is no small thing, in other words.
Arax won in the featured reporting category for his story, “A Kingdom from Dust.” The piece, which ran in the California Sunday Magazine last year, delves into the agricultural empire of Stewart Resnick (he of POM Wonderful fame, and also Halos mandarin oranges and Fiji water).
It’s the kind of long-form journalism on which Arax made his name (see: “The King of California”).
The story will be featured in Arax’s new book, “The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California,” which will be released by Penguin Random House this month, with its own national book tour.
Local readers will be happy to note that the tour kicks off with a talk and reading at 7 p.m. May 17 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building. As a bonus, the ticketed event will benefit the new Clovis Library. Tickets are $10-$15 and are on sale now online. You can also reserve a copy of the book.