Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winners

Just wanted to bring your attention to another award announcement. The Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards have just been announced. These are, to quote their own information:

"The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award™ is the first national award presented to published writers of African descent by the national community of Black writers. This award consists of prizes for the highest quality writing in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry."

I've had the pleasure of working with Hurston/Wright quite a bit over the years. They've even been kind enough to throw some award recognition my way on occasion, for which I'm very grateful. This year I'm just a bystander, but I'm impressed by the list of finalists and by the open-mindedness of the judging.

In the Fiction Category, the Finalists were:

Crossbones, by Nuruddin Farah

Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones

Mr. Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi

You Are Free: Stories, by Danzy Senna

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward

Zone One, by Colson Whitehead

Do you know how impressive this list is, and how diverse? It includes a post apocalyptic zombie novel by a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant winner, a National Book Award winning novel about a family caught in a hurricane in the Gulf, a short story collection by a Whiting Award winner, a really hard to describe slipstream sounding novel by a British novelist, a very popular coming of age novel from the American South, and a novel by a Somali author who has been translated into seventeen languages!

It's pretty amazing. These six authors could be contenders on any list, but I find something inspiring about them being praised as wonderful works by a distinct voices, each of them successful in the own way.

By the way, Helen Oyeyemi won for Mr. Fox!

Here's a link to the H/W website list of nominees.

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