Sang-Hee Lee, a UC Riverside professor of anthropology, has won the 2018 W. W. Howells Book Award from the American Anthropological Association for her new book “Close Encounters with Humankind.”
Lee was presented with the award at the association’s annual meeting in San Jose at a ceremony held Nov. 16. The award, from the Biological Anthropology section of the association, recognize works representing the highest standard of scholarship and readability.
The book is already a best-seller that has been published in English, Korean, Spanish and Chinese and is scheduled to be published in four more languages next year.
“Close Encounters with Humankind” explores Lee’s passion and curiosity about the human make-up and paleoanthropology.
“A lot of textbooks talk about the beginning that happened billions of years ago but this book starts with a question each chapter,” Lee said. “Each chapter is an exploration.”
Lee said the most rewarding part of writing the book was passing on the knowledge from her research.
“What’s important is not who knows the most but who makes sense of the information,” she said. “For me to repackage and reshuffle my information to make it an interesting story for someone who does not know much about human evolution is the most rewarding thing.”