The Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation announces its annual Longlist for best debut novels set in the American South. The $5000 prize will be presented in January 2018. Modeled on the prestigious literary prizes given by famous Parisian cafés such as the Café de Flore and the Deux Magots, the award is co-sponsored by the iconic Southern restaurant, Crook’s Corner Bar & Café in Chapel Hill, NC. In a tip of the hat to the Gallic source of inspiration, the winner is entitled, along with the cash award, to a free glass of wine every day for a year at Crook’s. “That’s an idea we stole from the Flore in Paris,” says Anna Hayes, president of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation.
The goal of the prize is to encourage emerging fiction writers, who typically face some of the toughest obstacles in today’s publishing environment. Although eligible books must be set in the South, authors may live anywhere, and all genres of fiction except for Young Adult are eligible. “We are always interested in fresh perspectives on the South,” says Hayes, “whether from a historical or modern point of view.”
The Shortlist will be announced in September. This year’s judge is author Elizabeth Cox, whose latest novel, A Question of Mercy, was published in 2016.
The Longlist, selected from 42 entries, is:
- Home Field, by Hannah Gersen (William Morrow Paperbacks)
- Rabbit Cake, by Annie Hartnett (Tin House Books)
- Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie & Clyde in the Last Days, by Jeff P. Jones
(Texas Review Press)
- The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin, by Stephanie Knipper (Algonquin
- The Barrowfields, by Phillip Lewis (Hogarth)
- The Infinite, by Nicholas Mainieri (HarperCollins)
- One Good Mama Bone, by Bren McClain (Story River Books/University of
South Carolina Press)
- Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, by Stephen O’Connor (Viking)
- Work Like Any Other, by Virginia Reeves (Scribner)
- The Second Mrs. Hockaday, by Susan Rivers (Algonquin Books)