Remember that little post back in January about celebrating the in-between? Well today, I am celebrating BIG TIME! (The) Barbara Kingsolver called me to say that I have won the Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change. My novel, Light-skinned-ed Girl, will be published by Algonquin Books Fall 2009. Yeah buddy! Whoo-hoo! Whoo-hoo! I am doing the happy muppet dance! I can’t stop smiling. I am so happy and so grateful.
The Bellwether Prize is awarded in even-numbered years to an unpublished first novel of social importance. This is what Barbara Kingsolver says about the Prize:
“Fiction has a unique capacity to bring difficult issues to a broad readership on a personal level, creating empathy in a reader’s heart for the theoretical stranger. Its capacity for invoking moral and social responsibility is enormous. Throughout history, every movement toward a more peaceful and humane world has begun with those who imagined the possibilities. The Bellwether Prize seeks to support the imagination of humane possibilities."
Many of you may have heard recently about Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan, the 2006 winner of the Bellwether Prize. I urge you to read it. It’s a beautifully written book. I’ve also just picked up and am enjoying The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis. The other Bellwether Prize books are: Kissing the Virgin's Mouth, by Donna Gershten, and Correcting the Landscape, by Marjorie Kowalski Cole. I am eager to read those books too.
Of course, I will keep you posted on MY book’s publication progress. And of course, I hope you will all be eager to buy it as well! I’ve got books to sell folks! But for now, a glass of champagne. And a toast. To dreams coming true. Skoal! (If you'd like to hear a little bit of the story, visit my website where you can download the audio of my University of Copenhagen reading.)