Winning Words


David Duhr

A few weeks ago we offered a roundup of Texas books  recently nominated for or winning major awards. As literary awards season rolls on, we have a few notices to add.

LashLong-listed for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award are: Observer contributor Anis Shivani, whose story collection The Fifth Lash & Other Stories we reviewed in our December issue; Steven Barthelme, author of Hush Hush, covered in January’s issue; and George Saunders, whose Tenth of December has been getting rave reviews, and who spent some time on the phone with our Emily DePrang.

Also, the winners of the 2013 Texas Institute of Letters Awards were named at the organization’s annual convention over the weekend of April 6. As you probably know by now, our own Melissa del Bosque won the Edwin “Bud” Shrake Award for Short Nonfiction for her piece “The Deadliest Place in Mexico.”

Ben Fountain continues to rack up the accolades for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, winner of TIL’s Jesse H. Jones fiction prize. Steven Kellman reviewed the novel in our 2012 Books Issue; read a version of that review here.

EyeStephen Harrigan, whose work has been reviewed in the Observer many times, won the TIL’s Lon Tinkle Award for lifetime achievement. We covered Harrigan’s Remember Ben Clayton in our September, 2011 issue; Harrigan’s latest essay collection, The Eye of the Mammoth, was just published by the University of Texas Press.

Finally, over at Publishers Weekly our own Brad Tyer runs down “The 10 Best Small Towns in Books,” a list that includes Nate Blakeslee’s Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, a book that grew out of  Blakeslee’s award-winning 2000 Observer piece, “The Color of Justice.”