Patty Limerick, a well-known author and professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association.
Limerick, who also is chair of CU's Center of the American West and a professor of environmental studies, received the award Oct. 2 along with co-recipient William Kittredge during the association's 43rd annual conference in Boulder.
Previous winners of the WLA Distinguished Achievement Award include Sherman Alexie, Terry Tempest Williams, Joan Didion, Tony Hillerman, Louise Erdrich, Ken Kesey, Larry McMurtry and Edward Abbey.
Limerick is the author of "The Legacy of Conquest," one of the best-selling books on Western American history, in addition to "Something in the Soil," "Desert Passages" and numerous essays and columns appearing in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
During the award presentation, Limerick and Kittredge were honored for "challenging us in your writing to think, engage and act" and "for engaging the general public in understanding the American West." Limerick was specifically cited for "writing with grace, clarity and humor" and for "helping us to see the story of the West as something other than the same old story."
The award was presented by 2007-08 WLA Co-Presidents Karen Ramirez, a faculty member in CU-Boulder's Sewall Residential Academic Program, and Nicolas Witschi, who earned his master's degree in English from CU-Boulder in 1993 and is now an associate professor at Western Michigan University.
Kittredge, of Missoula, Mont., is the author of "Hole in the Sky: A Memoir," "The Nature of Generosity" and "The Willow Field" in addition to essays and short stories.