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Contact: Ali Spindler, 225.387.6126
Ernest Gaines book award to celebrate African-American literature
First $10,000 award to be announced soon
Baton Rouge, La.�A new award will soon honor African-American literary talent, both established and new.
In January, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation will announce the first winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in honor of Gaines.
Named for the world-renowned Louisiana author, the $10,000 annual award will honor one African-American writer's novel published last year. A panel of five esteemed judges are selecting the best work from nearly 30 entries received this year.
The winner will be revealed in early January and recognized later in the month at a celebration at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge's Shaw Center for the Arts. In that same month, Gaines turns 75.
Gaines is among the world's greatest writers and educators. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize for his novels and has won numerous awards, including the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award for "A Lesson Before Dying." His novel, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," was made into a popular TV film starring Cicely Tyson. Other notable works include "A Gathering of Old Men" and "Of Love and Dust."
The award was created by donors of the Foundation to pay tribute to Gaines and to celebrate a new generation of African-American literature. For more information, visit www.ernestjgainesaward.org.