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Winner Announced for the 11th Annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize

Bobby Finger’s The Old Place (Penguin Random House) has won the 11th annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize for the best debut novel set in the American South.

Prize judge Wiley Cash said, “Bobby Finger’s novel might be titled The Old Place, but its themes of family, forgiveness, and acceptance are as timely as ever. Like truly timeless literature, Finger’s novel is populated with small-town characters we all know. In this novel, Billington, Texas, is its own distinct place, but thanks to Finger’s talented rendering, it quickly becomes a place for all of us to understand ourselves and one another better.”

The Crook’s Corner Book Prize, established as a collaboration between the iconic Southern restaurant Crook’s Corner, in Chapel Hill, and the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation, was inspired by the prestigious book awards long given by “literary cafés” in Paris.

“Our goal is to shine a light on promising new novelists writing about the American South to alert readers to the exciting talent out there,” said Anna Hayes, Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation President.

This year’s prize announcement took place on January 8 at The Crunkleton, as Crook’s Corner closed in 2021, in the first Crook’s Corner Book Prize gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The Crook’s Corner Award Winner Discussion featuring Finger and Cash will be held on Zoom tonight, January 10, from 7-8PM. Learn more and attend the discussion.