A Charleston native has been named one of five finalists for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, a prestigious peer-juried prize now in its 39th year.
Blanche McCrary Boyd, whose novel "Tomb of the Unknown Racist" was released by Counterpoint in May 2018, was selected by three judges — Percival Everett, Ernesto Quiñonez and Joy Williams — from more than 400 novels and short story collections by American authors.
The Post and Courier published a Q&A with Boyd last May.
Other finalists are Richard Powers for "The Overstory," Ivelisse Rodriguez for "Love War Stories," Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi for "Call Me Zebra" and Willy Vlautin for "Don’t Skip Out on Me."
“This year’s finalists are proof that we are living in an age in which tremendous, significant stories are being told by a multiplicity of unique voices,” said PEN/Faulkner Executive Director Gwydion Suilebhan. “We are honored to be able to call attention toward such profound, thrilling artistry.”
The winner, who will receive $15,000, will be announced April 29. The remaining four finalists will each receive an honorarium of $5,000. All five authors will be honored during at the award ceremony on May 4 at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC. Tickets are $95. For more information, go to https://pfaward19.eventbrite.com.
Boyd is the author of five novels and a collection of autobiographical journalism, "The Redneck Way of Knowledge."
The new novel completes "The Blacklock Trilogy," which includes "The Revolution of Little Girls" (1991) and "Terminal Velocity" (1997), though the three novels function independently. Boyd’s essays and reporting have appeared in venues such as the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Ms, Vanity Fair and Village Voice.
She grew up in Charleston, and much of her writing is inspired by her Southern roots. Her works deal with race and politics and much more. Currently, Boyd teaches at Connecticut College.