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David Joy Wins Southern Book Prize in Fiction

A North Carolina author has won the 2019 Southern Book Prize in Fiction.

David Joy of western North Carolina won the prize in Fiction for The Line That Held Us (Putnam & Sons). Bookmarks in Winston-Salem had this to say about it:

“With the Southern grit of Daniel Woodrell and the rich Appalachian cadence of Ron Rash, David Joy is the new voice of Southern noir. In The Line That Held Us, Joy drags the reader by the gut on a dark and twisted journey of violence and vengeance in a story that will not be soon forgotten.”

Joy is the author of the Edgar nominated novel Where All Light Tends To Go (Putnam, 2015), as well as the novels The Weight Of This World (Putnam, 2017) and The Line That Held Us (Putnam, 2018). He is also the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey (Bright Mountain Books, 2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Environmental Writing Award and the Ragan Old North State Award.

Joy is the recipient of an artist fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. His latest short stories and essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times Magazine, Garden & Gun, and The Bitter Southerner.

The 2019 Southern Book Prize also was awarded to Rick Bragg in Nonfiction for The Best Cook in the World (Knopf) and to Jo Hackl in Children’s for Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe (Random House).

The 2019 Southern Book Prize, presented by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, represents a change in both format and timing from past years. Previously timed to be announced in the summer, voting in 2019 began November 10 as part of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge Week, and was opened to Southern booksellers and their customers. Winners were selected by popular vote and will now be announced on Valentine’s Day.

Over 2,800 ballots were submitted by Southern readers, representing over 150 Southern independent bookstores and confirming the Southern Book Prize as a true “Southern Readers’ Choice” award.

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