Jane Hamilton to receive Chancellor’s Literary award Oct. 20

October 06, 2008

Wisconsin author Jane Hamilton, winner of two Oprah’s Book Club selections, will receive the fourth annual University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award on Monday, Oct. 20.

Hamilton will be honored at a 7 p.m. reading on Oct. 20. The event is free and will be held in the Summers Auditorium of the James R. Connor University Center. The public is invited to attend the reading. Hamilton will sign books after the reading. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

"I am pleased that Jane Hamilton has agreed to accept this award," Chancellor Richard Telfer said.  "She joins a group of extraordinary writers who have already been honored. Ms. Hamilton’s writing is powerful to the point of being painful at certain moments. She makes us examine our own lives, revealing the beautiful as well as the ugly. Yet her stories are also hilarious  and full of humanity. She writes of the Midwestern culture as only someone who grew up in its midst can do."

Hamilton is being honored for her body of work including "The Book of Ruth," "A Map of the World," "Disobedience" and "The Short History of a Prince."  She will read from her new book, "Laura Rider’s Masterpiece," due out this spring 2009.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes Hamilton as "a novelist of surpassing gifts, wit and wisdom about the human condition as it persists through challenging times."  The San Francisco Chronicle writes, "Jane Hamilton has removed all doubts that she belongs among the major writers of our time."  The Denver Post adds, "[Hamilton] can make life riveting.  There can be no better recommendation for a novelist." 

Hamilton’s first novel, "The Book of Ruth" won the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first fiction.  Her second novel, "A Map of the World," was an international bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. It was also named one of the top 10 books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, the Miami Herald and People.  Both "The Book of Ruth" and "A Map of the World" have been Oprah’s Book Club selections.

Currently, she lives, works and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin.

Hamilton is the fourth author to receive the Chancellor's Regional Literary Award. The first award was given in April 2006 to C.J. Hribal, a professor at Marquette University, for his novel, "The Company Car." In April 2007 A. Manette Ansay was honored for her body of work including "Vinegar Hill," "Limbo," and most recently "Blue Water."  In April 2008 Michael Perry was honored for his body of work including "Truck: A Love Story," "Population: 485" and "Off Main Street."

Nominations for the 2009 Literary Award honoree are now being accepted. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium plus expenses to attend the award ceremony at UW-Whitewater. A dinner will be held in the author’s honor, along with a reading and book signing.

Submissions will be accepted through Nov. 15, 2008 and the selection committee will make its decision in January.  The award will be presented to the winning author in October 2009.

The award honors a living author who has demonstrated a regional connection to the Upper Midwest in his/her published works of prose, poetry, nonfiction or drama.

Nominations may be submitted online at: http://www.uww.edu/common/docs/literary_award_form.doc

A letter of application or nomination can also be mailed to:

Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award
Attention: Sara Kuhl
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

The award recognizes writers who celebrate all that makes the Upper Midwest special.

Questions can be directed to Sara Kuhl at kuhls@uww.edu or 262-472-1194.


Sara Kuhl