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Wiley Cash Wins 2018 Southern Book Prize

North Carolina author Wiley Cash has won the 2018 Southern Book Prize in “Literary” Fiction for his novel The Last Ballad.

Books that win the Southern Book Prize are:

Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

The award is sponsored by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA).

The Last Ballad is set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The novel chronicles an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill.

“We need more women (and men) like Ella Mae Wiggins in this world,” says George Williams of MoonPie General Store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. “Someone who is willing to stand up for a better world no matter the cost. This is her story, and we are all better for having come to know it.”

Wiley Cash gave the Keynote Address at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2017 Fall Conference in Wrightsville Beach.

Wiley is The New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind than Home, This Dark Road to Mercy, and The Last Ballad, which are available from William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers. Wiley holds a BA in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an MA in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Garden & Gun, O. Henry Magazine, and The Carolina Quarterly. Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two young daughters.

Among the many award categories, North Carolina publisher Algonquin Books took top honors in the “Women and Family” Fiction category with Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin.

For the full list of award winners, click here.