POSTED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 12:37pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 1:28pm
Baton Rouge, La. — Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has announced this year's recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award. It is acclaimed author James Wilcox. Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will recognize Wilcox at an award ceremony during the Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, October 29.
"After a one-year hiatus, the book festival will return to Capitol Park to celebrate books by authors from Louisiana and the rest of the world," Dardenne said. "The festival is a perfect time to give the Louisiana Writer Award, which honors the best writers from our great state,"
The Louisiana Book Festival is a free, day long event, where authors such as Wilcox will hold workshops to discuss their works and careers. Writing workshops for hopeful authors are available as well as food, entertainment and activities for children.
James Wilcox is the director of creative writing at LSU and is also the author of nine novels in which most are set in or feature characters from the fictional town of Tula Springs, La. His most famous novel, "Modern Baptists," was released in 1983 and has been included in Harold Bloom's "The Western Canon." It was also listed in the GQ 45th anniversary issue as one of the best works of fiction published in the past 45 years.
"James Wilcox and his enduring and ongoing work, from 'Modern Baptists' to 'Hunk City,' exemplifies Louisiana's rich cultural and literary heritage," Hamilton said. "Born in Hammond, James has drawn on his Louisiana experience to create unforgettable residents of his fictional Tula Springs. Though it doesn't really exist, anyone who lives in Louisiana has been there or knows somebody who lives there."
Wilcox's book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Elle. His eighth novel, "Heavenly Days," was featured on the New York Times Notable Book list. Wilcox currently holds the MacCurdy Distinguished Professorship in the LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelist and short story writer Tim Gautreaux; children's author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith, and historian Carl A. Brasseaux.
For more information about the Louisiana Book Festival, click here .