Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Debut novels set in the South

Is  your book club looking for excellent novels set in the South? Let me direct you to Crook's Corner Book Prize's longlist of 11 debut novels, published between Jan.1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

One of my favorites, I'm happy to say, is on the list. It's "Byrd" (Dzanc Books) by Raleigh attorney Kim Church, the coming-of-age tale of Addie Lockwood whose failed abortion leads her to place her infant son with an adoption agency. Lockwood's longing is enduring and palpable, as is the longing of other characters for one another, present or not. "Byrd" is also on the longlist for the Flaherty Dunnan Prize, to be announced in September.

Among the other novels on the Crooks Corner list are "Flying Shoes" (Bloomsbury USA) by Lisa Howarth, a literary mystery set in Oxford, Miss.; "Heart of Palm" (Grove) a tale about loving things to death by Laura Lee Smith, set in the small town of Utina, Fla., between St. Augustine and Jacksonville; "The Ways of the Dead" (Viking), a story of race, crime, the law and the power of the media in Washington, D.C., by long-time Washington Post reporter Neely Tucker; and "In the Garden of Stone" (Hub City Press) by Susan Tekulve about the wave of Scilian immigrants who arrived in Bluefield, Va., in the 19th century.

Wilmington's Wiley Cash won the first annual prize in 2014 for his debut novel, "A Land More Kind That Home."

Modeled on the literary prizes of famous Parisian cafes, the Crook's Corner Book Prize is sponsored by the Crook's Corner Cafe and Bar in Chapel Hill. The shortlist will be announced in November, and the winner, who will receive $1,000 and a free glass of wine on each visit to Crooks Corner, will be announced in January.

The complete Crooks Corner list: http://crookscornerbookprize.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CROOKSBOOK_newsrelease_tuesday5th.pdf


Kristy Woodson Harveyy said...

What a wonderful prize and a great line-up of books! I absolutely love Crooks Corner (I'm a UNC grad!) and didn't know they offered this prize. I'm definitely going to enter my debut novel, Dear Carolina (Berkley) when it comes out next Spring! Thanks so much for sharing this!

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