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Robert Kerbeck, Acclaimed Author, Winner of 2020 “IPPY” Award

Robert Kerbeck, Acclaimed Author

Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA's Most Devastating Wildfire

IPPY Award

“Malibu Burning is the best kind of nonfiction—so visceral it feels like fiction.”

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, May 8, 2020 / -- Today, Robert Kerbeck, acclaimed author, is the recipient of a 2020 Independent Publisher Book Award (“IPPY”) as the Silver Medalist in Creative Nonfiction for his book, “Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire.” In their 24th year, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year’s best titles from around the globe. As one of the oldest and most established book awards, winning an IPPY draws the attention and respect of the entire book industry. Ever since its release, “Malibu Burning” has come to critical acclaim, receiving the Best of Los Angeles Award for Best Historical Nonfiction, as well as being named a finalist for Foreword Book of the Year.

“Malibu Burning is the perfect combination of emotion and journalism,” said Jim Barnes, publisher. “The quality of this year’s entries was so impressive, with so much creativity, that it was extremely difficult to choose our medalists.” Winning an IPPY is yet another huge accomplishment for Kerbeck. “To stand out among so many wonderful submissions, a book has to be exceptional,” said Managing Editor, Michelle Anne Schingler. “We’re proud to attach our names to each of these extraordinary picks.” It appears that “Malibu Burning” is nothing short of exceptional.

Malibu Burning is a combination of investigative journalism and memoir, a series of stories of people involved with and impacted by the fire that ripped through Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying thousands of homes and displacing nearly 300,000 residents. In a dramatic retelling of this horrific tragedy, Kerbeck reveals surprising twists and turns to the story, including a secret nuclear power plant where the fire started, firefighters who would not fight the fire, and the real life stories of the people—the real people—who lost everything they owned in 2,000 degree flames. Readers feel part of the dramatic, life-threatening journey portrayed through the stories of not just the celebrities but the teachers, gardeners, house cleaners, farmers—and children. This is more than a story about the most famous community of Los Angeles; it's a human interest and survival tale anyone can relate to.


Robert Kerbeck

Robert Kerbeck is the founder of the Malibu Writers Circle and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. On November 9, 2018, Robert, along with his wife and teenage son, fought to save their home from the deadly Woolsey fire, the worst wildfire in Los Angeles history. His harrowing first-person account was read by over a million people as an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times. Based on that essay, comes his book, Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire. Kerbeck interviewed nearly every player in the fire from the LA County Supervisor to the Deputy Fire Chief to the Malibu City Manager, as well as many well-known people whose lives were affected. Celebrities who were interviewed or appear in the book include Bob Dylan, Joan Didion, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kevin Dillon, Matt Dillon, Julia Roberts, Anthony Kiedis, Chris Martin, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many others.

Robert Kerbeck, author Malibu Burning
Winner, 2020 IPPY Award - Silver Medalist in Nonfiction
Finalist, Foreword Book of the Year
Best Historical Nonfiction of 2019 - Best of LA Award
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