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Therese Anne Fowler and Jill McCorkle Are Southern Book Prize Finalists

New York Times bestselling authors Therese Anne Fowler and Jill McCorkle are among the finalists for the 2021 Southern Book Prize. Nominations were submitted by bookstore members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and culled from books that have received strong reviews from Southern booksellers.

Fowler’s novel, A Good Neighborhood (St. Martin’s Press, 2020), tells the story of two neighbors in Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood. The book “asks big questions about life in America today—what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?—as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.”

McCorkle’s novel, Hieroglyphics (Algonquin Books, 2020), follows Lil and Frank as they retire to North Carolina. Frank becomes obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Hieroglyphics reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you.

Therese Anne Fowler will be part of the Opening Conversation, with Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, at The Writingest State Online Conference, November 10-14, 2020.

In almost all creative writing—whether poetry, drama, fiction, or creative nonfiction—the setting where the story happens and the history out of which the story begins are as important as the voice, the plot, and the characters. During the Opening Conversatiton, “The Place and the Past, two North Carolina novelists will open the Writingest State Online Conference officially with this conversation on the place, the past, and the stories we’re trying to tell.

Registration for the WSOC is open.

Therese Anne Fowler is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Week, Harper’s Bazaar, the Telegraph, and more, and her books are sold in translation worldwide. A Good Neighborhood, her most recent work, debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and was the Barnes & Noble Book Club selection for March 2020. Her 2018 novel A Well-Behaved Woman was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her 2013 novel Z has been adapted as an original television series for Amazon Studios, starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Fitzgerald. Therese earned a BA in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing, both from NC State University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and PEN America, she lives in Raleigh with her husband, author John Kessel.

North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jill McCorkle’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was just out of college, and the New York Times called her “a born novelist.” Since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories, and her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her most recent novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, the Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

The Southern Book Prize awards winners in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children’s. For the complete list of finalists, click here.

The primary goal of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is to give independent booksellers the tools to be successful. SIBA also welcomes publishers, authors, and others in the book industry who recognize the value of partnering with the independent bookstore market–one of the most active, creative, and influential segments of the book industry.