Dale Neal's "Cow Across America," winner of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library's 2009 Novello Literary Award, has been named a literary fiction finalist for a ForeWord Book of the Year Award. The awards, given by ForeWord Reviews, are designed to help discover great books from the nation's independent publishers.
Neal's novel, published in the fall by the library's Novello Festival Press, is the coming-of-age story of Dwight Martin, a North Carolina kid who's estranged from his father and anxious about growing up. It's also a tale about two young men who set out to walk across the country with a cow named Ivy.
Neal, a reporter for the Asheville-Citizen Times, is one of 15 finalists in the literary fiction category. Winners will be announced in May.