NES is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 New England Society Book Awards, which honor books of merit that celebrate New England and its culture. Winners were selected from a shortlist of 22 finalists. An Awards Luncheon was held to honor the winners on Thursday, April 25, at the Grolier Club in New York City.

Fiction

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin Books)

This absorbing thriller, centered on the real-life heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, spans three centuries of forgers, thieves and obsessive collectors. The author's razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger a rousing novel about seeing - and not seeing - the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.

Nonfiction

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul by John M. Barry (Viking)

The New York Times best-selling author examines two fault lines that have defined and divided America since Williams' arrival in Boston in the 17th century: the relationship between church and state, and individual freedom versus state power.

Both of these fault lines first opened with the extraordinary thought and struggles of Roger Williams, who had an unparalleled understanding of the conflict between a government that justified itself by "reason of state," its perceived "will of God" and the "ancient rights and liberties" of individuals.

Art & Photography

Maine Moderns Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940 by Susan Danly and Libby Bischof (Yale University Press)

In this beautifully illustrated book, Bischof and Danly explore Maine's important place in the history of modern art. Between 1900 and 1940, a group of modernist artists gathered regularly on the coast of Maine in a region then known as Seguinland. The authors shed light on how the various artists' experiences in the refreshing atmosphere on the Maine coast cemented their friendships, shaped their individual styles, and fostered their understanding of what it meant to be a modern artist.

Specialty Title: Science & Nature

A Field Guide to the Ants of New England by Aaron M. Ellison, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Elizabeth J. Farnsworth and Gary D. Alpert (Yale University Press)

This user-friendly regional guide is lavishly illustrated with more than 500 line drawings and 300-plus photographs. The detailed drawings and species descriptions, together with the high-magnification photographs, will introduce amateur and professional naturalists and biologists to the more than 140 ant species in the region.