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The 2016 winner of the National Book Award is Colson Whitehead for Underground Railroad.  Whitehead is best known in this region for his novel, John Henry Days (2002).  His winning book has been a #1 New York Times best-seller, an Oprah Book Club selection, and the winner of many other awards. On the National Book Award Longlist  (top ten) for Non-Fiction is Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen. Carrie Buck was a woman who lived in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was the subject of a Supreme Court ruling in 1927 that legalized the...

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Crystal Wilkinson has won the 10th Annual Ernest J. Gaines Award, one of the most prestigious honors a rising African American fiction writer can earn, for her first novel, Birds of Opulence. The award will be presented, along with a check for $10,000, in January at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Wilkinson grew up in Casey County, Kentucky, and currently teaches at Berea College in Madison County, Kentucky.  She and her partner, Ron Davis, own and manage Wild Fig Books & Coffee in Lexington, Kentucky. Robert Goolrick, who grew up in Lexington, Virginia, won the Library of Virginia...

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At their last biennial gathering, the Fellowship of Southern Writers awarded Jesse Graves their James Still Award for Writing About the Appalachian South. Nikki Giovanni will receive the 2016 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Virginia. Nominations for the Fiction Award, for books published in 2015, include Lexington, Virginia, native, Robert Goolrick’s The Fall of Princes. Also West Virginia native, Ann Pancake’s Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley: Novellas and Stories and Big Stone Gap, Virginia native, Adriana Trigiani’s All the Stars in the Heavens. In the non-fiction category, Sue Eisenfeld’s Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation...

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