Director’s Cut: Crook’s Corner Book Prize Long List Announced

Crook's Corner Book Prize
Crook’s Corner Book Prize

12 books were recently named to the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Long list of exceptional debut novels set in the American South.

The Crook’s Corner Book Prize, inspired by the literary cafés of Paris, which boast traditions of conferring literary awards, is in its first year.

The idea makes sense, for Crook’s Corner Café & Bar, in Chapel Hill, NC,  has a rich history of supporting artists.

If you doubt that, take a look at the chainsawed Clyde Jones pig, mounted on the roof.

These 12 novels were selected from 68 submissions:

LEAVING TUSCALOOSA, Walter Bennett (Fuze Publishing)

CODE OF THE FOREST, Jon Buchan (Joggling Board Press)

A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME, Wiley Cash (William Morrow)

GREEN GOSPEL, L.C. Fiore (Livingston Press)

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, Ben Fountain (Ecco)

THE SILENCE OF BONAVENTURE ARROW, Rita Leganski (Harper Collins)

THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER, Lois Leveen (William Morrow)

THE TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE, Ayana Mathis (Knopf)

THE ENCHANTED LIFE OF ADAM HOPE, Rhonda Riley (Ecco)

GLOW, Jessica Maria Tuccelli (Viking/Penguin)

THE FAMILY FANG, Kevin Wilson (Harper Collins)

WASH, Margaret Wrinkle (Atlantic Monthly Press)

The Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation will choose four finalists from the 12 books on the Long List. The finalists will be announced November 15. From the four finalists, Jill McCorkle, author most recently of Life After Life, will choose the first winner of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize.

The winning author will receive a cash prize of $1000. And, in a nod to the Gallic inspiration for the award, one free glass of wine per day whenever he or she visits Crook’s during the year of the award.

When Katharine Walton, the fevered mind behind the award idea, phoned to ask my opinion of the enterprise, I told her, in my best quote-rendereing voice, “The linkages between good writing and good food and drink are clear and persistent. I can’t imagine a better means of celebrating their entwining than this innovative award. The only fault I find is with the beverage that will be tendered to the winner. Bourbon seems a better choice.”

No one listened to me about the bourbon. But I pass this along anyway, for I think this idea is splendid.